The year of the dog – Happy Chinese New Year

David Lafreniere
By David Lafreniere February 9, 2018 11:14

Riqui Wang holds a tray of togetherness at Multifood Supermarket on Crawford Avenue. 2018 is the Year of the Dog, which is one of 12 animals on the Chinese zodiac. According to the Chinese zodiac people born in the Year of the Dog are usually sincere, decisive, loyal and independent. (Photo by David Lafreniere)

By David Lafreniere

An offering of sweet treats, known as a tray of togetherness, brings wishes of a sweet life and prosperity during the Chinese New Year, according to Riqui Wang.

Windsorites celebrating Chinese New Year can purchase traditional decorations and food at Multifood Supermarket on Crawford Avenue in Windsor. The 16-day celebration begins this year on Feb. 16 and ends with a lantern festival on March 8.

“If you eat candy at New Year you will become sweet and you will become lucky and that is perfect,” said Wang, a cashier at Multifood. “Happy New Year to everybody.”

The sweet treats are one of many traditions people follow during the New Year celebration. Another is the tradition of giving red envelopes to young kids. The envelopes are stuffed with lucky money. It is also a time for families to gather and share stories with the young about Chinese culture and traditions, according to Zhenzhong Ma, President of the Chinese Association of Greater Windsor.

He said the demon Nian, which is Chinese for year, is a scary creature or monster.

“The gods sent down to the earth a demon to see who was not behaving well,” said Ma. “The people looked for a way to drive him out and that is why we have fireworks. It’s why we have all kinds of activities. We have red and we have the nicely written characters.

Another tradition is to place red banners at the entrance to homes, according to Ma.

“Because they are red, it means lucky and it can drive the evil away. The Nian will be driven away because of all kinds of celebrations,” said Ma

The Chinese Association of Greater Windsor is celebrating with a Chinese New Year gala at the St. Clair Centre for Performing Arts on Saturday, Feb. 17. There will be stage performances highlighting Chinese culture and traditions, and a meal.

David Lafreniere
By David Lafreniere February 9, 2018 11:14

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