Niagara Falls Welcomes China with love and friendship
The red carpet and red lanterns were rolled out this month in Niagara Falls in celebration of the Chinese Spring Festival (春节 chūnjié) welcoming the New Year and celebrating our long friendship with China. The Niagara Falls were lit up in red, a symbolic gesture of wishes for good fortune and joy. The city of Niagara Falls welcomed Chinese dignitaries and tourists for this special illumination.
The year 2018 marks a special year celebrating Canada-China Tourism and Canadians are opening our hearts and home with joy to growing numbers of Chinese tourists. Over 1.5 million Canadians are of Chinese heritage and the tradition of friendship between China and Canada is deeply cherished. The city of Niagara Falls seeks to extend this friendship in 2018 and welcomes China and Chinese visitors. 恭喜发财 (gōngxǐ fācái)
Year of the Dog! 2018 leaves the year of the Rooster behind and welcomes the year of the Dog. In Chinese culture it is believed that dogs are lucky and that they can drive away misfortune. A dog will stand by its human counterpart through thick and thin, people born in the Year of the Dog are loyal, honest, valiant and dependable.
Top 5 Ways to Celebrate the Chinese New Year in Niagara Falls
The tradition of celebrating the spring festival in China dates back as early as the Shang Dynasty in the 14th Century. In 2018, the lunar new year began on Feb 16 with celebrations lasting up to 15 days. The Chinese New Year is a time to clear away the old and to usher in fresh beginnings. It is aspirational, a time to set intentions and celebrate connections to family and friends. Here are 5 ways to bring in the Chinese New Year in the Niagara Region:
1. Spring cleaning
By cleaning out the old we give space to usher in abundance and bliss (喜 xǐ). Bring the new year in with delightful fragrance by visiting the Niagara Floral Showhouse https://www.niagaraparks.com/visit/nature-garden/floral-showhouse/ or celebrate with fireworks over Niagara Falls https://www.niagarafallstourism.com/fireworks/. Another way to bring in the New Year with freshness is to go on a vigorous hike in the snow along the Bruce Trail, with the Bruce Trail club in honor of the Chinese New Year http://niagarabrucetrail.club/wp/2017/12/15/give-the-gift-of-the-bruce/.
For more about Feng Shui read here: http://www.niagarabuzz.ca/2015/05/02/home-and-garden/feng-shui-and-colour-maximizing-your-homes-energy/
2. Decorate and wear the color red (hóng)
Red is an auspicious color in Chinese culture. The color red is said to ward off evil spirits and usher in good fortune. To celebrate the New Years create paper cuttings, hang poetry, scrolls and red lanterns, and wear red. Visit Niagara Falls which has a spectacular illumination in Red.
3. Give money and gifts
The Chinese New Year is a time for gift giving. Red envelopes are filled with money and given to children. Some Canadian retailers are giving special discounts in honor of the Chinese New Year, from Best Buy to Walmart.
Visit the Outlet Collection in Niagara-on-the-Lake for a variety of top designer shopping stores https://www.outletcollectionatniagara.com/stores/directory/ or the Landmark Shops of Niagara on the Lake for great gift options.
For specific items commemorating the Year of the Dog visit the following Niagara retailers:
- Swarovski Retail Niagara Store for a special collection for the year of the Dog a blue crystal loyal dog as well as their new spring collection. 6380 Fallsview Boulevard, Niagara Falls, 905-354-0118
- Adidas https://www.adidas.com/us/superstar-80s-cny-shoes/DB2569.html at the Outlet collection in Niagara on the Lake, 300 Taylor Road, Niagara-on-the-lake
- MAC Canada‘s Chinese New Year Lipstick or Estee Lauders Dog Powder Compact available at the Pen Center in the Hudson’s Bay Co. in St. Catharines. 221 Glendale Ave, St. Catharines, (905) 688-4441
- Godiva Choclatier for special Chinese Lunar New Years chocolate kits http://www.godiva.com/lunar-new-year-gifts 4632 Victoria Ave, Niagara Falls, (905) 374-2201
- H&M Chinese New years collection at the Pen Centre, 221 Glendale Ave. St. Catharines https://www.thepencentre.com/
Further, Canada Post has a new stamp issued in celebration of the year of the dog, and the Royal Canadian Mint is issuing a pure silver lunar lotus coin while Canadian banks CIBC and the Toronto Dominion Bank are issuing special silver and gold round medals for the year of the Dog and certain branches of TD bank are giving members red envelopes away for free.
4. Enjoy the Family reunion feast (nián yè fàn)
The New Year is a time for family’s to come together with food and joy. The Family gathering meal at the time of the New Year is the most important meal of the year. The top lucky foods to bring in the New Year are: dumplings (jiaozi), sweet rice balls (tangyuan), fresh whole fish, whole chicken, dried oysters, longevity noodles – long noodles for a long life! (长寿面 Chángshòu Miàn), glutinous rice cake (nian gao), spring rolls, leafy greens, garlic, red foods, seeds, and sweet desserts (Ong Lai or Fa Gao prosperity cakes). Good fortune fruits are tangerines and pomelos.
Experience Chinese Culinary Delights in Niagara:
Jia Yuan(for Chinese dumplings)22 King St (12.02 mi)
St. Catharines L2R3H3905) 682-2300https://www.facebook.com/jiayuandumpling/Spiice 料香 – Chinese ExpressDiner / Bubble Tea / Smoothie and Juice bar605 Glenridge Ave, Unit 5 (9.35 mi)
St. Catharines L2T 4E6(905) 682-1118https://www.facebook.com/Spiice.ca/
Hibachi Beef Noodle Hot Pot
33 Lakeshore Rd, Unit 24a
St. Catharines L2N7B3
https://www.facebook.com/hibachicafe33/ Chegndou NoodlesSouthwest Chinese Cuisine71 King Street
St. Catharines L2R 3H7(289) 362-2974https://www.facebook.com/06-Chengdu-Noodles-349642008808389/?rc=pCanton House904 Ontario Road, Welland(905) 735-6221 http://www.cantonhouse.ca/menu.phpLucky DragonChinese and Thai Takeout food (Welland) – excellent vegan and vegetarian optionshttp://www.luckydragonwelland.ca/menu.htmlDinh Dinh Asian FoodAsian grocery store featuring Desserts, drinks, fresh vegetables and mushrooms, medicinal knowledge79 Geneva St.
L2R 4M9 905-685-4977
5. Partake in Cultural Activities and Performances
Bring the New Years in by attending a Chinese cultural performance. Check out these Chinese-Canadian Cultural Associations for year-round activities: Central Ontario Chinese Cultural Centrefor information on Chinese cultural calendar activities and performances http://coccc.net/2018/01/28/coccc-chinese-lunar-new-year-2018/Chinese Cultural Association of Regional NiagaraLocation: Merritton Community Centre, 7 Park Avenue, St. Catharines L2P 1P9, Phone: 905-935-3087 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org://folk-arts.ca/festival/open-houses/chinese-cultural-association-of-regional-niagara-confucius-institute-at-brock-university/Niagara Chinese Business Councilhttps://www.facebook.com/niagarachinesebusinesscouncil/For Chinese Students and visiting Scholars:contact the Brock University Chinese Student and Scholars Association and partake in their Moon Carnival https://www.facebook.com/BrockUCSSA/Canadian students wishing to learn about Chinese language and culture should visit the Confucius Institute at Brock (CIBU), which collaborates with Minjiang University in Fuzhou, Fujian Province: https://brocku.ca/confucius-institute/