Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

News stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood community in East Vancouver

Read On! Happy Year of the Water Rabbit

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May the Year of the Water Rabbit be a lucky one for you and your family. Photo by Sophia Han
May the Year of the Water Rabbit be a lucky one for you and your family. Photos by Sophia Han

A year of hope **

In 2023, the Lunar New Year starts on January 22nd. The Chinese zodiac sign for 2023 is the Water Rabbit. It is a symbol of peace, hope and longevity.

The Lunar New Year is the most important public holiday in China, but it is also celebrated in Asian countries such as Singapore, South Korea and Vietnam. Because Vancouver is home to many cultures that celebrate the Lunar New Year, you may be asked to join the celebrations at someone’s home.

Read on to learn about traditional gifts to bring your hosts on this special occasion.

During the Lunar New Year, a bowl of citrus fruits symbolizes luck and happiness. Photo by Sophia Han
During the Lunar New Year, a bowl of citrus fruits symbolizes luck and happiness.

Giving Lunar New Year gifts ***

Gift-giving is an important Lunar New Year tradition, but gifts vary depending on the age and the giver’s relationship to the recipient.

You may already know that children receive money in bright red packets called hongbao. If your host has children, it is fine to give them a small amount in a red packet, but the amount should be an even number. Except for the number 4 (which sounds like the word for death in Chinese), even numbers are considered lucky.

Many Asian bakeries at this time will sell boxes of traditional sweets like almond cookies, but it is also common to see gifts of chocolates wrapped to look like gold coins. Crispy egg rolls are sweet, flaky biscuits that are sold in large tins. They are considered lucky because they symbolize wealth.

Money trees and lucky bamboo plants are also popular and a basket of any citrus fruit is always welcome. All of these items symbolize prosperity. In fact, so long as your gift is lucky or auspicious, you can’t really go wrong.

In Renfrew-Collingwood, drop by the Pine House Bread & Cake Shop at 3396 Kingsway for almond cookies. For chocolate gold coins, visit Purdys Chocolatier at 2777 Kingsway.


Lunar New Year – a year that starts on the first full moon of the year

Chinese zodiac – 12 animals that represent a group of stars

longevity – long-life

occasion – an event

vary – things that vary can be different or change

relationship – the connection between people

recipient – the person receiving something

alreadyalready can describe something that is true before the present time

except – not including

considered – thought to be

common – something that happens often

prosperity – wealth

auspicious – suggesting success

Word search

** Lower intermediate

*** Upper intermediate

Copyright 2023 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


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