This year, the Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, started on Feb. 10, but Halifax’s Chinese community had been preparing for it for at least a month.

The Lunar New Year is celebrated not only by those of Chinese descent, but also people from across East Asian and Southeast Asian countries, such as Korea, Vietnam, and Malaysia. In Halifax, about 18,290 people from these regions celebrate this major holiday.

The Chinese traditional calendar assigns one animal to every year, which is called the zodiac. The zodiac of 2024 is the dragon.

Chinese New Year-related activities, such as pasting chunlian, making dumplings, and traditional performances, are ongoing across HRM.

In Chinese tradition, people often paste chunlian, which are blessings for the upcoming year written on red paper.

Some people who are good at calligraphy usually write chunlian at home instead of buying them. At Halifax Shopping Centre, an event was held on Feb. 11 to write Chinese names in calligraphy.

A man in red clothes holds up a piece of paper with "Li Ao" written on it, which is the English name Leo in Chinese.
caption A man writing calligraphy during an event at Halifax Shopping Centre shows a boy his Chinese name. The boy’s name is Leo.
Xixi Jiang

Dragons are regarded as mythical beasts that can drive away evil. Communities in China usually dance puppet dragons during the New Year holiday so that evil will not harass residents and they will be healthy and safe in the coming year.

The leading man holds the puppet dragon's head and smiles.
caption The leading man holds the dragon’s head and directs the dragon dance team at Halifax Shopping Centre.
Xixi Jiang

In northern China, one New Year’s Eve tradition is for families to gather to make and eat dumplings.

Chinese families and friends play mahjong, a traditional table game, when they get together.

Traditional dance performances are another way the community celebrates the Chinese New Year.

A group of women in cheongsam hold Chinese oil-paper umbrellas.
caption Actors from Halifax Chinese Language School wear cheongsam, the clothing popular in China in the early 20th century, at the Chinese society’s New Year Gala at Dalhousie University.
Xixi Jiang
A group of children wearing Hanfu face microphones and speaking.
caption Kids wear traditional clothing called Hanfu and read ancient Chinese poetry at the New Year Gala at Dalhousie University.
Xixi Jiang

In China, millions of people try their best to return home before New Year’s Eve. An elaborate New Year’s Eve dinner with families is a Chinese custom. Sam Lam, the owner of Jacky’s Cafe on Spring Garden Road, made a New Year’s Eve dinner for his family and friends. People who were unable to see their families enjoyed the atmosphere of the New Year reunion.

Twenty-one people gathered at the red table to have meal.
caption Twenty-one people enjoy a New Year’s Eve dinner at Jacky’s Cafe on Spring Garden Road.
Xixi Jiang

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About the author

Xixi Jiang

Xixi Jiang, who often goes by Jacky, is from China. She’s a fourth-year student in BJH program at the University of King’s College.

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  1. J

    Jeff Harper

    Amazing photos! Happy new year to all!
    • X

      Xixi Jiang

      LOL Thank you Jeff and even though, Happy New Year to you!
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