Celebrating Lunar New Year in Toronto!

Posted on February 17, 2022

Photo by May Shi

In the diverse city of Toronto, Lunar New Year is celebrated amongst many communities. This day happened to land perfectly on February 1st as many celebrate the Year of the Tiger! Since this calendar follows the moon cycle, the next 15 days are a time of feasting and honouring deities and ancestors. Many different cultures celebrated and continue to celebrate the new year in multiple ways. If you are in Toronto and are celebrating the Year of the Tiger, here are a few things you can do!

Photo by Hong Shing

Food is a huge part of every culture. It brings people together and provides a complete meal for everyone. When celebrating the Lunar New Year, certain foods hold special meanings and Torontonians can visit restaurants for a special meal! Hong Shing on Dundas St. West is providing a six-course feast in celebration, which includes a variety of seafood and meats. Holts Café on Bloor St. West has also created an afternoon tea set that features sweet and savoury pastries that you can enjoy. Momofuku on University Ave. is also participating in this celebration by including a meal with smoked duck and other ingredients where guests can create their own lettuce wrap.

Photo by CBC

If you’d like to celebrate in another way, you can also visit the Yue Moon: Tiger With Wings exhibition in Chinatown! Artist Paddy Leung created this exhibit through a public art project and according to Chinatown BIA, intergenerational arts workshops by the local community helped create these lantern designs. Each lantern features a different drawing by a workshop participant and ranges from historical events, personal experiences, to even new year intentions. This wonderful exhibit is on display just beside Dragon City Mall on Dundas St. West. 

Photo by Felicity Tse

A small way to celebrate and gain some recognition for the Lunar New Year can be seen just by walking down the streets of Toronto. The TTC has wrapped some of their streetcars in a Lunar New Year design that was created by Brenda Tong, a Chinese immigrant who has worked in the Canadian graphic design industry for over 25 years. She also designed the Lunar New Year stamp for Canada Post 25 years ago. You can check out these festive streetcars on 510 Spadina, 506 Carlton, 25 Don Mills, and many more!

Don’t worry if you’re not wanting to go out and celebrate, because there are many online events that you can participate in! From online lion dances to kung fu performances, to even ritual demonstrations, you can watch a variety of different videos in celebration. Chinatown in Toronto, the Toronto Chinese Folk Art Centre, The Yee Hong Community Wellness Foundation, and many more are all hosting their own virtual events. There are so many videos and livestreams for you to check out and celebrate the Lunar New Year from the comfort of your own home!

Let’s come together to celebrate the Year of the Tiger! The Lunar New Year is a chance for you to set your intentions for the upcoming year, reflect on the past year of the Ox, and spend time with your loved ones. I’m wishing you luck, love, and health this Lunar New Year!

Posted in Blog.

Sophia (she/her) is a first-year Media Production student who is very excited to join SpiritLive this year. She loves to capture life’s little moments through videos and film photography, all the while attending concerts and grabbing bubble tea. With a passion for connecting with others, she hopes to learn more about the community here and listen to their stories.