welcome to the year of the goat! happy new year! Or 新年快乐

If you were born in The Year of the Goat your lucky colours are brown, red, purple, your luck numbers are 2, and 7. Your luckiest flower is the carnation and the primrose.
Year of Birth: 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027
Chinese New Year which is also called the Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival, officially begins on Thursday February 19th, and ends on March the 5th. It is the first day of the first month on the Chinese lunar calendar, and its official date in January or February varies from year to year (always somewhere in the period January 21 to February 20).

The Chinese Lunar Calendar is one of the oldest calendars of modern society, dating back to the 14th century BC. Legend has it that the Emperor Huang-di known as the Yellow Emperor, invented the calendar in 2637 BC. It is heavily associated with the Chinese zodiac, which has 12 animal signs: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. Each animal represents a year in a 12-year cycle, beginning on Chinese New Year's Day. This year, for 2015 is the year of the GOAT. 

Here in the Lower Mainland we are blessed with such diverse and multicultural society, and our Chinese population has much to do with that. Offering us an array of new ideas, foods and cultural activities to participate in and enjoy. As young and old Chinese Canadians and foreign nationals alike join together during this next week, the rest of us will have a chance to get to know our neighbours, perhaps explore deeper into a new culture, or simply revel in all the FUN!

It is the highest and one of the most important of the Chinese Holiday’s it is celebrated worldwide and here in Vancouver proper and all its neighbouring cities – especially Richmond, they sure do know how to throw a party. Perhaps this year you will partake? I mean how can a weekend of great entertainment, delicious eats, and smiling faces be a bad thing!?

Everyone loves a parade
On February 22nd – it is the parade to end all parades. This massive event has become one major multicultural event and it is shared by fifty thousand plus of every race, nationality and age. Folks come together to witness the spectacular costumes, enjoy the music as well as the amazing Chinese lion and dragon dancing and then so much more. Viewed as China Town’s most attended event this is definitely an exciting and different way to connect with your community, learn about a new culture and its history to this city, or simply come together as a family to enjoy the show. Wear RED and get in the spirit!

Here are the details for you.
The parade takes place on Sunday, February 22, 2015 and is a signature event of Vancouver’s Chinatown with lion and dragon dances, cultural dance troupes, marching bands, martial arts performances and much more. More than 3,000 people are expected to perform and march along a 1.3-km parade route lined with 50,000+ people.
•    Date: Sunday, February 22
•    Time: Begins at 11 a.m. with a duration of 2.5 hours
•    Location: Vancouver Chinatown
•    Cost: FREE!

FOOD FOOD FOOD! The Chinese New Year's Eve dinner is called the Reunion Dinner, and is believed to be the most important meal of the year. It is customary to have ten to twelve courses! Big family gatherings take place, with every generation sitting around the tables enjoying the great food and good times together. Traditionally people serve what is referred to as ‘prosperous food’ – such as dumplings, fish, spring rolls, and Niango, Also, quite fittingly; goat itself will be prevalent on the menus. One traditional dish is a goat and radish stew, whose main ingredients are goat meat, cabbage, radish, green onion, ginger, salt, and water.

Noodles are eaten for long life; dumplings, shaped like ancient Chinese money, represent wealth and prosperity; lettuce wraps play on the Chinese word for “fortune” which is also the word for “lettuce”; the head and tail of a fish served whole symbolize a good beginning and end to the year. Richmond has earned the reputation as the North American number one destination for Chinese cuisine and restaurants like Fisherman’s Terrace, The Jade Seafood Restaurant, Sea Harbour Seafood, Vivacity and Suhang offer special reunion dinner set menus for groups. Specific foods are eaten during the festival because of their symbolic meanings, based on their names or appearance. Fish is a must for Chinese New Year. Eating fish is believed to bring a surplus of money and good luck in the coming year. 

Another traditional Chinese New Year food is, of course, the great and wonderful Chinese dumpling. Because the shape of Chinese dumplings looks like silver ingot - a kind of ancient Chinese money, Chinese people believe eating dumplings during the New Year festival will bring more money and wealth for the coming year. Great reason to eat more dumplings!  
Here in Vancouver you can find wonderful Chinese food celebrations to indulge in this exotic and downright delicious cuisine. Check out these highlighted events.

Chinese New Year Banquet at Floata Restaurant that includes live entertainment.
Located in the heart of Chinatown, nearby Dr. Sun-Yet Sun Garden and minutes away from Downtown Vancouver

Address:     400-180 Keefer Street,
Vancouver, B.C.
Tel:    (604) 602-0368
Fax:     (604) 681-7123
Business Hour:    7:30am -10:00pm

Vancouver’s Dumpling Festival - Location: Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza
Admission: Free
•    Friday, February 20 – 11AM – 7PM
•    Saturday, February 21 – 11AM – 7PM
•    Sunday, February 22 – 11AM – 6PM

 However you decide to celebrate this Lunar New Year may you and yours be prosperous, healthy and wise in 2015!