Ringing in the Year of the Rabbit

Have you made plans to ring in the year 4078?

Feb. 3 is the official start of the Year of the Rabbit, 4078 on the Chinese calendar.

It’s the most important event on the Chinese calendar.

According to legend, a beast would attack villages on the first day of the New Year. The villagers learned that if they left food in front of their homes, the beast would not attack. They also discovered that the beast was afraid of the colour red and began hanging red lanterns and scrolls in their windows and doorways.

These traditions, as well as the launching of fireworks, continue to this day.

Lion dances are held to remove bad spirits. The God of Fortune hands out red packets, usually filled with chocolate coins or similar treats, to wish all a prosperous and lucky year.

There are plenty of events to check out in Scarborough to celebrate this festival. Here are a few:

Celebrating the Year of the Rabbit at CCC
Where: Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto, 5183 Sheppard Ave. E.
When: Feb. 5, noon–2 p.m.

Chinese New Year Celebration
Where: Scarborough Civic Centre
When: Feb. 6, 2–4 p.m.
What: Lion dance, Chinese dances, singing, God of Fortune greeting and lucky red-pocket giving

CCC Year of the Rabbit Banquet
Where: Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto, 5183 Sheppard Ave. E.
When: Feb. 11, 6:30 p.m.
Tickets: $39

Gung Hay Fat Choy!