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Chinese New Year – The Year of the Rat

Posted By: Rachel Kavanagh

January 16, 2020

Chinese New Year – The Year of the Rat – The origins of the Chinese New Year festival are thousands of years old and are steeped in legends, but it is unclear when the beginning of the year was celebrated before the Qin Dynasty.

Over the centuries each dynasty has added different elements to the festival including fireworks from the Han Dynasty to lanterns from the Tang Dynasty.

This important Chinese festival celebrates the turn of the traditional lunar calendar and is one of the most important days of the year. The first day of the New Year falls on the new moon between 21 January and 20 February.

This year we celebrate the Year of the Rat on January 24 – February 4. The rat is the first of all zodiac animals. In Chinese culture, rats were seen as a sign of wealth and surplus. Because of their reproduction rate, married couples also prayed to them for children. Rats are clever, quick thinkers; successful, but content with living a quiet and peaceful life.

During this time, families will decorate their windows and doors will be decorated with red colour paper-cuts with popular themes of “good fortune” or “happiness”, “wealth”, and “longevity”. They will also gather for the annual reunion dinner and thoroughly cleanse the house to sweep away any ill-fortune and make way for good incoming luck.

In Markham, 51% of the population is East and Southeast Asian. The entire Markham community is viewed as an extension of our own family and we here at RE/MAX All-Stars Benczik Team realty are thrilled to take part in the occasion.

We would like to wish everyone good health (身體健康) and a happy new year (新年快樂)

Chinese New Year – The Year of the Rat – written by Benczik Team Realty


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