Guide to Markham’s New Year Celebrations and Events
New Year celebrations are a big deal all over the world, and Canada is no exception. With diverse communities and cultural traditions, Canada has a unique way of ringing in the New Year. The city of Markham, located in the province of Ontario, is particularly known for its vibrant New Year celebrations. In this article, we will explore the various ways New Year is celebrated in Canada, with a focus on Markham and other small and big cities. We will also dive into the traditions and events surrounding Chinese New Year, which is a big part of the New Year celebrations in Markham.
New Year in Canada
New Year celebrations in Canada are a time of joy, renewal and hope. Canadians celebrate the New Year on January 1st, which is a public holiday across the country. The celebrations usually begin on New Year’s Eve, with people gathering with family and friends to bid farewell to the old year and welcome the new one. Fireworks displays are a common sight in many cities, including Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal.
Apart from fireworks, there are several other activities and events that take place on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day in Canada. Many cities hold parades, concerts, and parties, where people can enjoy live music, food, and drinks. Skating, skiing, and snowboarding are popular outdoor activities during the winter season, and many Canadians spend their New Year’s Day hitting the slopes.
Chinese New Year in Canada
Chinese New Year is an important cultural event in Canada, celebrated by the Chinese-Canadian community and people of Chinese descent. It is based on the lunar calendar and falls on a different date each year. In Canada, Chinese New Year is celebrated with parades, dragon and lion dances, and other traditional activities.
History of Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year has a rich history, dating back more than 3,500 years. Legend has it that the festival originated as a way to ward off a mythical beast called Nian, which would terrorize villages at the beginning of each year. To protect themselves, the villagers would put up red decorations, light firecrackers, and make loud noises to scare away the beast.
Today, Chinese New Year is a time to celebrate family, friends, and good fortune. The festival lasts for 15 days and is marked by a series of traditional activities and customs. These include cleaning the house to sweep away bad luck, giving red envelopes filled with money to children, and preparing special dishes for the New Year’s Eve dinner.
Apart from the New Year’s Eve dinner, there are several other traditional dishes that are prepared during Chinese New Year. These include dumplings, which symbolize wealth and prosperity, and glutinous rice cake, which represents a higher income or position in the new year.
Another important tradition during Chinese New Year is the exchange of gifts. Red envelopes filled with money are given to children, and adults exchange gifts of fruit, tea, and other items.
Lion Dance Music and Performances
Lion dance is a traditional Chinese dance performed during the New Year celebrations. The dance involves performers dressed in lion costumes, who dance to the beat of drums and cymbals. The lion dance is believed to bring good luck and fortune, and is often performed at Chinese New Year events and parades.
Chinese Dragon Dance
The dragon dance is another traditional dance performed during Chinese New Year. The dance involves performers carrying a long dragon costume, which is maneuvered to create the impression of a dragon moving through the streets. The dragon dance is believed to bring good luck and fortune, and is a popular feature of Chinese New Year parades and events.
Traditional Food and Drinks
In addition to dumplings and glutinous rice cake, there are several other traditional foods and drinks that are enjoyed during Chinese New Year. These include fish, which represents abundance and prosperity, and nian gao, a sweet rice cake that is a symbol of good fortune.
Overview of New Year in Markham
Markham is a city located in the Greater Toronto Area and is known for its diverse population and cultural heritage. The city has a significant Chinese-Canadian community, and as such, Chinese New Year is a big part of the New Year celebrations in Markham.
Where to Celebrate New Year in the City?
There are several places to celebrate New Year in Markham, including shopping malls, community centers, and public spaces. Two of the most popular places are Markham Place and First Markham. Markham Place is a popular shopping mall that hosts various New Year events, including live performances, food fairs, and gift exchanges. First Markham is a community center that organizes family-friendly New Year’s Eve parties, complete with games, music, and refreshments.
Markham Town Centre Events for New Year
Markham Town Centre is another popular destination for New Year celebrations in Markham. The mall hosts various events and activities, including fireworks displays, live performances, and cultural exhibitions. The Town Centre also has a food court that offers a variety of cuisines, making it a great place to dine with family and friends during the New Year celebrations.
Interesting Facts about New Year Celebrations in Markham
- Markham is home to the largest indoor Chinese mall in North America, the Pacific Mall, which is a popular destination for New Year shopping.
- In 2019, Markham celebrated its first-ever New Year’s Eve countdown at the Markham Civic Centre, which included live performances and a fireworks display.
New Year Celebrations and Events in Other Cities
Apart from Markham, several other cities in Canada also hold New Year celebrations and events. Toronto, the largest city in Canada, is known for its massive New Year’s Eve celebration, which takes place at Nathan Phillips Square. The event features live music, skating, and a countdown to midnight with a spectacular fireworks display.
Montreal, another major city in Canada, holds a New Year’s Eve party in the Old Port, which includes a DJ, live performances, and a fireworks show. The city also hosts an annual New Year’s Day parade, which features colorful floats, marching bands, and street performers.
Other smaller cities, such as Niagara Falls and Ottawa, also hold New Year’s Eve celebrations, with fireworks displays and live music performances.
Chinese New Year Traditions in Markham
Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival, is the most important holiday in China, and is celebrated by the Chinese community around the world. The festival marks the beginning of a new lunar year and is steeped in tradition and customs.
Chinese New Year Celebrations in 2012 and Beyond
In 2012, the Chinese New Year celebrations in Markham attracted over 50,000 visitors. The festivities included lion dance performances, dragon boat races, and a food fair featuring traditional Chinese dishes. Since then, the celebrations have grown in popularity, with even more events and activities being added each year.
Interesting Facts about Chinese New Year in Markham
- The Chinese New Year celebrations in Markham are organized by the Markham Chinese Business Association, which is dedicated to promoting Chinese culture and traditions in the city.
- In addition to the Pacific Mall, there are several other Chinese-owned businesses in Markham that cater to the Chinese-Canadian community, including restaurants, bakeries, and grocery stores.
- The city of Markham has declared Chinese New Year a cultural holiday, recognizing its importance to the Chinese-Canadian community and the city’s cultural diversity.
Shopping Malls in Markham on New Year
Shopping is a big part of the New Year celebrations in Markham, and the city has several malls and shopping centers that are popular among shoppers.
Overview of the Pacific Mall in Markham
The Pacific Mall, located in Markham, is the largest indoor Chinese mall in North America and is a popular destination for Chinese New Year shopping. The mall features over 450 stores, selling a wide range of products, including clothing, electronics, and souvenirs. During the Chinese New Year celebrations, the mall is decorated with festive red lanterns, and there are special sales and discounts offered by the stores.
Pacific Mall Map and Layout
The Pacific Mall is divided into several sections, each catering to a different type of product. The mall has a food court that offers a variety of Chinese and other Asian cuisines, making it a great place to dine during the New Year celebrations.
Other Shopping Malls in Markham
Apart from the Pacific Mall, there are several other shopping malls in Markham, including the Markville Shopping Centre and the CF Markville Mall. These malls also offer a variety of shopping and dining options during the New Year celebrations.