Lunar New Year 2021

Festive red lanterns to decorate the front of Gordon House

Sun Nin Fai Lok! Xin Nian Kuai Le! Happy Lunar New Year!

Many cultures celebrate the Lunar New Year, also known as Spring Festival. It is mainly based on a lunar calendar where the months are cycles of the moon and because of this, the dates of the holiday change slightly year to year. Sometimes the holiday is referred to as “Chinese New Year” but a number of Asian countries celebrate the Lunar New Year – including China, Vietnam, Korea, Tibet, Japan, and Mongolia. A few holiday traditions include eating long noodles (the key to a long life!), decorating your home with oranges (a symbol of good fortune), and gifting red envelopes (lai see) with small amounts of money! The lucky colours for this holiday are red and gold. Celebrations last several days and culminates to the Lantern Festival on the last day of the New Year’s celebrations – a night of colourful lanterns!

In the Chinese zodiac we are entering the year of the Metal Ox. To find out more about the Chinese zodiac and what your animal is Click Here!

At Gordon House we celebrated this holiday throughout our programming. In our Out of School Care program the kids learned the story behind the holiday and made lanterns to decorate the building.

OSC kids crafting lanterns

In our Young Ideas program we held a virtual crafting demo during which we made lanterns and fans while discussing the different experiences participants have had celebrating the holiday in the past. The participants were joined by one of the Out of School care staff and kids to show the group the lantern making skills they had learned the day before! Participants learned that traditionally in Chinese culture fans were used as a way to showcase artwork. As well as receiving crafting materials ahead of the workshop participants also received red envelopes with candy inside. The food programming staff shared with the group some special holiday recipes and information on food and symbolism.

fan made during the workshop
lanterns made by OSC on display at Gordon House!

Over in our Seniors programming we held a special Lunar New Year virtual cooking demo where participants learned to make dumplings. Participants received all of the groceries they would need to cook along at home ahead of time! The group also learned about the symbolism of food during this holiday. Check out some pictures and the recipe used below.

Dumpling Recipe
Steaming Dumplings
Pan Frying Dumplings
Food & Symbolism

Lastly, our Food programming staff incorporated Lunar New Year celebrations into our weekly meal deliveries to isolated seniors. This took the form of a special holiday meal – “Lunar New Year Celebration Bowl’ which contained traditional foods such as taro root and lotus root. Also included with the meal delivery was a recipe for Chow Mein, some information on food and symbolism, and a red envelope with chocolate coins. See below for pictures of the delicious special meal delivery, and the tasty Chow Mein recipe!

Lunar New Year Celebration Bowl
Lunar New Year Celebration Bowl
Chow Mein Recipe
Seniors delivery – Lunar Bowl, recipe, red envelope, and Valentines card!