A look inside Montreal’s Lunar New Year Market

Rabbit themed goodies at the Lunar New Year Market. DALIA NARDOLILLO/ The Concordian

Did you know that the Chinese pictographic for the rabbit is 兔?

Sunday, January 22, 2023 marked the beginning of the Lunar New Year which highlights the year of the Rabbit.

In Chinese culture, people strongly believe that it is destined to influence the year and the people born in it. For reference, people born in the years 2023, 2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963, 1951 and 1939 are associated with the Rabbit zodiac. Last year was the year of the Tiger. The rabbit is the fourth Chinese zodiac animal out of twelve.

You might be curious about what exactly the rabbit symbolizes in Chinese culture. Well, it embodies energy with a focus on relaxation, quietness and contemplation.

In the Gay Village, in the downtown Montreal area, Montrealers rang in the new year with a variety of activities. One of the activities was a free-to-attend, one-day-only holiday market organized by the Montreal Hong Kong Cultural Learning Society.

According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, the Lunar New Year in Asia falls after the second new moon which occurs after the winter solstice. That means the Lunar New Year can happen anytime between January 21 and February 20.

Upon entering the market space, visitors saw a decorative cherry blossom tree and a table nearby. The table had a bunch of markers and pens on it for visitors to write their wishes for the upcoming new year on cards with the purchase of an item at the market.

Wishing tree where guests could leave their wishes for the new Lunar New Year. DALIA NARDOLILLO/ The Concordian

Various sweet smells wafted throughout the market. The vendors were selling food that was being freshly made to order on-site. Some of those sweets included bubble waffles, Japanese and Tawainese wheel cakes, and much more.

The market not only offered lots of variety in terms of things to buy, but it also offered interactive booths where guests could try their hand at Chinese calligraphy. 

I was enticed to try my hand at Chinese calligraphy and learned that you begin with the horizontal strokes first, and then do the downstrokes. I gave it a couple of tries at writing down some Chinese pictograms until my hands got stained with ink.

The other interactive booth included a dice game with a Fish-Prawn-Crab.

All the vendors present at the market were bursting with energy and the excitement for the year of the Rabbit could be felt throughout the room.

If you celebrate the Lunar New Year, we wish you peace, health and prosperity for this new year!


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