Celebration showcases Year of the Monkey

5 popular Chinese New Year traditions

The audience enjoys a children's dance performance in celebration of the Chinese New Year at the Scarborough Civic Centre on Jan. 7.
The audience enjoys a children’s dance performance in celebration of the Chinese New Year at the Scarborough Civic Centre on Jan. 7 (Renee Allen/Toronto Observer)

An auditorium at the Scarborough Civic Centre filled with excited patrons celebrated the Chinese New Year on Jan. 7. The event hosted by the Chinese Collective Arts Association featured many popular traditions.

1. New Years Greetings
Before the festivities began, the show’s hosts exchanged the greeting “Xīnnián hǎo” which translates to “New Year goodness.” The phrase is used to exchange well wishes for the New Year.

2. Year of the Monkey
During the show, the hosts asked a group of children to act out the behaviour of a fire monkey to mimic the zodiac sign for year. Each Chinese New Year is celebrated with one of the 12 zodiac blocks.

3. Red Envelopes
The God of Fortune walked throughout the audience handing out red envelopes. The color red symbolizes good luck and fortune in the Chinese culture.

4. Chinese Red Lanterns
The Civic Centre was decorated with red lanterns across the stage. Red lanterns are a popular custom featured in many New Year’s celebrations.

5. Traditional dances
Throughout the festivities were several traditional dances. Dancers were adorned in bright colored clothing for their performances.