Brampton celebrates Lunar New Year Thursday with festivities taking place at City Hall.
The event starts at 6:30 p.m. and will feature performances by the Oakville Chinese Network, Mississauga Chinese Arts Organization, and the Wushu Project. Live Calligraphy Art will also be on display, along with giveaways to attending festivalgoers.
The year of the rabbit is the fourth of the 12 animal cycle in the Chinese zodiac related to the Lunar calendar. Many believe the rabbit many symbolizes longevity and good fortune.
Brampton resident Mohammad Porag wants to learn more about Chinese culture and plans to take his entire family.
“I’m always interested because the oldest language is Chinese with Mandarin,” he said. “China has a lot of people and is a big country and our economy is from China.”
Porag moved to Canada ten years ago and still appreciates how festivals like this one are ways he can celebrate the many diverse cultures in Brampton and the GTA.
“Brampton has a lot of Indian, Bangladeshi, Pakistani, and Chinese people all from Asia, so if the city celebrates this event it will be for all of those people to enjoy and even if they aren’t I think people will attend the event and still enjoy,” he said.
According to the 2016 census, Brampton has the 4th in largest visible minority population in Canada and is 3rd in Ontario.
Peter Lim, a cook at Brampton’s Hakka Village Chinese restaurant, says he won’t be able to make Bramtpon’s year of the rabbit celebrations.
He has lived in Canada for 19 years but still remembers how the holiday is celebrated in China.
“Back home in China, they always have a couple of days off but here is different and even if you go to a Chinese mall this weekend they will have the dragon dance and different shows so if you have time there’s always shows around this time of year,” he said.
Lim says he usually spends Lunar New Year with a family dinner.
“We will celebrate after in a different way like we will go to the temple on the first day of the New Year or some years we’ll go out and eat. It’s different every year and people celebrate in different ways because it’s Canada,” he said.