Welcoming the Year of the Water Rabbit

Canada By Janaina Da Costa January 20, 2023

The Lunar New Year or Chinese New Year 2023 (also known as Spring Festival in China) ushers in the Year of the Rabbit on Sunday, January 22. For many Asians in Canada who have roots in China, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Mongolia, Indonesia, and others, Lunar New Year brings together families and communities around horoscopes, customs, and celebrations over for 15 days (from the new moon to the  full moon).

The Year of the Water Rabbit

At the start of each year, people of many cultures look forward to the new Chinese zodiac designation and its meanings. The Chinese zodiac specifies one of 12 animals in the 12-month lunar calendar. Each animal’s or sign’s characteristics are attributed to the new year and the people born under that sign. Complementary elements, such as this year’s water, also affect the zodiac predictions.

In the Chinese horoscope, 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit or, more specifically, the Year of the Water Rabbit. The rabbit is believed to be the luckiest of the 12 animals to be born under and considered a gentle animal that thinks before acting. The Year of the Rabbit represents peaceful and patient energy. The water element suggests tapping into inner wisdom and trusting instincts. Together, the Water Rabbit indicates focusing on relationships, diplomacy, and building bridges in professional and personal relationships. Those born in years associated with the Rabbit, specifically 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, and 2023, should have good fortune, patience, and prosperity in 2023, according to one Chinese horoscope.

In the Korean horoscope, the rabbit symbolizes clever, fertile and prosperous attributes, which are good luck for those thinking about adding to their families.

Lunar New Year Customs with Family

Being with family and friends during the new year is one tradition that never goes away. Many Chinese households for the Lunar New Year decorate their homes inside and out with lanterns, upside-down words for luck, and new year banners. Most decorations are red, and the sayings speak to fortune and happiness. Fresh flowers and kumquat trees may also decorate the homes. Chinese families or couples fill red envelopes, some simple and some more intricately decorated, with clean, crisp bills to give to children and the elderly symbolizing good luck and wishes for the coming year. (The Korean culture, however, does not consider red lucky, so other colors are preferred instead.)

If you are here in Canada and can’t give a red envelope in person, consider sending money home to China through Western Union. The easiest way to make a money transfer is to use our Western Union app and you can use your credit/debit card or a bank account to send it online, and the money will arrive quickly for cash pick up, bank accounts or wallets (Alipay).

Lunar New Year Celebrations in Canada

Toronto and Vancouver observe the Chinese or Lunar New Year with parades and other celebrations. Many restaurants feature special menus during the holiday weeks, or you can pre-order dinners for taking home if you want to ring in the new year in your dining room. Wherever you are located in Canada, check your local community calendars to see if Lunar New Year or Spring Festival events are happening near you.

Toronto happenings

Toronto’s Chinese restaurants celebrate the Lunar New Year with holiday menus that include dishes like Prosperity Lobster and spring rolls that symbolize wealth. Or join friends and lace up your skates at the Bentway Skate Trail. Other Lunar New Year’s celebrations are also being held at Chinatown Centre and Dragon City Mall.

Vancouver events

The Vancouver Chinese New Year Parade is back with floats, marching bands, and costumes! Want to bring in the new year on a smaller scale with the kids? The Vancouver Public Library in Kensington is hosting a Lunar New Year Puppet Show and more on January 17.

We at Western Union, want to wish everyone celebrating much luck, happiness, and prosperity in 2023, the Year of the Rabbit!