2015 Chinese New Year in Toronto, the Year of the Sheep

The 2015 Chinese New Year is the Year of the Sheep (or Goat). How will we celebrate Chinese New Year 2015 in Toronto? Many will have quiet family events or restaurant dinners; but here are a few public events.

"Chinese Lion Dance for Chinese New Year 2009" image by Maureen Didde under CC license
“Chinese Lion Dance for Chinese New Year 2009” image by Maureen Didde under CC license

When is Chinese New Year 2015?

Many Asian countries use a lunar calendar, so special dates and holidays shift annually as expressed in the (solar) Gregorian calendar.

In 2015, Chinese New Year is on Thursday February 19.

However, some events start earlier or end later. For example, the Vietnamese celebrate Tet Nguyen Dan 2015 for five days centred on Feb. 19. Feb. 17-18 are “Tet Eve”; then Feb. 20-21 are “Tet Holiday”.

Harbourfront Centre for Chinese New Year 2015

Harbourfront Centre puts a cheeky name for their art installation to celebrate the Chinese New Year 2015. Called “Sheep are not so baa-d“, it’s actually an illuminating exhibit of hundreds of lanterns in the form of sheep.

Really, these sheep lanterns are part of a package deal. Harbourfront will host visual arts, crafts and dance from LunarFest in British Columbia on Sat.-Sun., Feb. 28-Mar.1, from 11am-7pm. This is a free 2015 Chinese New Year event.

(Added Feb. 28, 2015): How did I miss the Lunar New Year Dumpling Festival at Harbourfront on Feb. 28 and March 1, 2015? Plus a fortune-telling event with temples representing Taiwanese and Japanese traditions. Learn your fortune, and learn about dumplings: gain both types of wisdom for free on from 11am-6pm.

Harbourfront is at 235 Queens Quay West. I’d walk south, mainly on York Street, after taking the subway to Union Station. Just check with the TTC to ensure that the subway will be running that weekend where you need to go.

Scarborough Town Centre for the 2015 Chinese New Year

Of course the Scarborough Town Centre (STC) celebrates the 2015 Chinese New Year for an extended period, from Feb. 13 through March 1. Their Lunar New Year at STC has an interesting focus for Feb. 19, however. Take a selfie ahead of time at their designated location, then upload it per their instructions. You’re entered for a cash prize, with a nod to some Chinese New Year traditions, if you enter from Feb. 13th to March 1st. To really nail down a $25 gift card, however, I’d do the upload at 12:01am on Feb. 19th.

A 2015 Chinese New Years Eve Party

It’s outside my price range, but Canada National TV hosts a Chinese New Year Gala from 6pm on Feb. 18 through midnight. As of mid-afternoon on Feb. 17, the remaining available prices range from $67/person and up. The Sony Centre for the Performing Arts is the venue, at 1 Front St. East. I’d call 905-513-0120 to get the details and reserve tickets. They recommend walking from the Union Station subway station.

Chinese New Year 2015 at a Library

The Lillian H. Smith Library Branch celebrates the Year of the Sheep on Sat. Feb. 21 from 1-4pm. Yes, it’s free! But you must pre-register; call 416-393-7746. This event is aimed at children who enjoy face-painting (in Chinese zodiac symbols!), martial arts demonstrations and seeing a Lion Dance.

The Lillian H. Smith Library Branch is at 239 College St. near Spadina Ave. The 506 College streetcar is the obvious east-west choice; but both the 509 Harbourfront and 510 Spadina streetcars will stop at College St.

Looking for More Annual Events or a Holiday in Toronto Canada?

My blog tracks many of the annual Toronto events that I find interesting, free or frugal. Chinese New Year is certainly one of the annual winter events in Toronto.

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Thanks for reading about several events for the 2015 Chinese New Year in Toronto.