Scarborough celebrates Chinese New Year

For Jenny Chan, 25, she did more than shopping at Scarborough Town Centre Friday, as the annual Chinese New Year Parade went through the mall.

“The parade is much bigger than I thought it would be, there are more people in the crowd, there are more people in the parade,” said Chan. “Before the parade was just on a stage and I like that this one is more interactive.”

The current renovations at Scarborough Town Centre closed off the lower level where traditionally the stage would have been.

The elaborate parade to mark the Year of the Tiger featured dancing dragon costumes, a dancing lion costume, and loud drums all thought to scare away bad spirits and bring good fortune.

They were closely followed by dancing fortune gods and Toronto Police services giving out red envelopes, or “li si”, to the crowd. The traditional envelopes contained a quarter for good luck.

The crowd grew steadily throughout the parade route with many on the top floor lining up alongside the banisters to get an aerial view of the parade.

On all sides of the parade route dense crowds formed and many like Chan, touched the dragons for good luck.

Chan like many others alongside the parade route wore red, a colour believed to scare away evil spirits. Many of the children, adults, and seniors also wore traditional Chinese shirts and dresses.

The year of the Tiger is based on the Chinese Zodiac cycle, which has 12 different animals. The animal changes every Chinese New Year, which is based on the New Moon of the lunar calendar, this year it was February 14. .

Those born under one of the zodiac animals: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig are all thought to possess characteristics and mannerisms of these animals.

Those born under the Year of the Tiger are thought to be affectionate, bold, characteristic, gracious, impulsive, independent, and physically strong.

It is considered a good year if it is the year of the animal you were born under. People who born under other animals may have their luck change depending on the relationship between their animal and the animal of the New Year.