February 5 - Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year is the Chinese festival that celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional Chinese calendar. The festival is usually referred to as the Spring Festival in mainland China, and is one of several Lunar New Years in Asia.
Chinese New Year is associated with several myths and customs. The festival was traditionally a time to honour deities as well as ancestors. Within China, regional customs and traditions concerning the celebration of the New Year vary widely, and the evening preceding Chinese New Year's Day is frequently regarded as an occasion for Chinese families to gather for the annual reunion dinner.
It is also traditional for every family to thoroughly clean their house, in order to sweep away any ill-fortune and to make way for incoming good luck. Another custom is the decoration of windows and doors with red paper-cuts and couplets. Popular themes among these paper-cuts and couplets include that of good fortune or happiness, wealth, and longevity. In North America, many large cities hold festivals and parades in celebration of Chinese New Year.
In Hamilton this year, there are celebrations at the Hamilton Children's Museum and West Highland Church. The popular Chinese buffet restaurant Mandarin is also celebrating the Chinese New Year with their annual Dumpling festival.