Canada is a wonderfully diverse country that has been enriched by the cultural traditions of the people who call it home.
One of the best known among them is Chinese New Year – the most important holiday in the Chinese calendar. It’s celebrated on the new moon that appears between January 21 and February 20. As such, the first day of this Chinese New Year will be January 25.
On New Year’s Eve, families reunite to share a large meal. Homes, streets and businesses are awash with red decorations, while firecrackers are lit and money is given in small red packets.
The holiday lasts for 15 days, and each of those days has traditional activities associated with it. Ceremonial greetings and gifts are exchanged, and spectacular dragon and lion dances wind their way through town and city streets.
Ontario’s capital city boasts the second-highest number of Chinese Canadians. More than one in 10 Torontonians can trace their roots back to China. But vibrant Chinese communities can be found everywhere across this great province – and many OPSEU members are part of them. We draw strength from the commitment and activism they bring to our union.
To all OPSEU members celebrating Chinese New Year, we wish you a Year of the Rat filled with good fortune and good health, prosperity and happiness.
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President of OPSEU
Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer