According to the Lunar Calendar, the new year will start on February 1st this year. While my family will be celebrating on Zoom and not our typical restaurant feast, we will still usher in the Year of the Tiger with as much enthusiasm as we can muster!

While the Lunar New Year is celebrated by many Asian countries, it’s very different from how we celebrate the Western New Year. For my family, Chinese New Year celebrations last for as long as 15 days. Leading up to the New Year, you’ll find us cleaning our homes from top to bottom. We will find something new to wear on New Year’s Day. Children receive red envelopes with lucky money from adults — known as “hong bao” or “lei see”. Usually Lion Dances fill the streets of chinatowns around the world with the sounds of beating drums and firecrackers. And of course, there’s TONS of food to be had throughout the days and nights. Symbolic foods, I might add. Don’t cut your noodles! They represent a long life! We also wish each other good health and prosperity for the coming year.

We are keeping positive thoughts in hopes to also travel once again. Thank you to my friends at the Hong Kong Tourism Board for sending beautiful and inspiring reminders throughout the year. We will all be able to experience the Lunar New Year and other auspicious occasions again soon!

For the new year, many also buy gifts for our closest family members. It’s everything bright in lucky red and gold from food to apparel and cosmetics to jewellery.

This particular  Year of the Tiger is said to be one that will be under the water element. A fluid year ahead. Go with the flow. My friend Will Wong always send a beautiful reminder this time of year with links to read about how my Chinese Zodiac sign will be affected in the coming year. Here’s a link to a site he has sent that will give you insight into what is predicted in 2022 for all Chinese Zodiac signs: www.yourchineseastrology.com

As for gifts, many companies offer up special items to celebrate the New Year. They also serve as reminders and appreciation of all the beauty that surrounds us as we usher in a fresh and positive start.  Here are some of my favourites:

Radford Beauty: This Canadian company celebrates with a handful of gift with purchases including limited-edition red envelopes with a surprise sample sachet, lip glosses, the signature 24k gold face masks, and folding paper fortune tellers. Every purchase made above $88CAD, between January 24th to February 1st, will include an extra value gift with purchase. Additionally, special bundles will be available for purchase as exclusive offers.

Armani Beauty: Limited-edition Lip Essential Set ($79 Can) includes the line’s best selling shades. Includes one full size lipstick as well as two mid-sized liquid lipsticks in packaged perfectly in red.

Sulwhasoo: Korean holistic skincare brand returns again with another collectible limited edition bottle of their bestselling Anti-Aging First Care Activating Serum ($195 Can at Sephora). The much loved serum includes a blend of five precious Korean herbs that help with hydration, fine lines, radiance, and brightness.

Laneige:  Limited-edition Year of the Glowing Skin Set ($59) includes the K-beauty line’s best selling products for all skin types. The Lip Mask has a serious fan following. The products in this set help to keep skin hydrated and radiant all year round.

NARS: This stunning Lunar New Year Eye Shadow Quad ($68 Can) palette holds golden tones to warm up the festive season. The four shades include multidimensional neutrals complemented by a purple-red matte for smoldering intensity as well as a shimmery one inspired by the line’s favourite Taj Mahal Blush shade.

GUCCI: The Year of the Tiger reveals a collection that’s something to roar about. Different depictions are offered in this year’s Lunar New Year offerings in ready-to-wear and accessories. A subtle flora and fauna collection is depicted against a backdrop of colorful greenery and flowers, a reimagination of an archival design by Vittorio Accornero, the creator of the Flora motif, the feline pays homage to the brand’s heritage.Then a more contemporary collection mixes the brand’s iconic logo with a modern day lettering. 

Versace Year of the Tiger Cardigan ($1,475 Can): Crafted from pure virgin wool, this cropped cardigan features the La Greca print and gold-tone Medusa buttons. Specially designed for the 2022 Lunar New Year, the style has an embroidered tiger motif all to keep you warm with all the well wishes of the season.

ROOTS: Designed and handcrafted in Canada, the magnificent tiger is shown in all its glory in this Premium Crew ($228) . Crafted from fleecy cotton blend, this sweater features 228,000 stitches and 7 embellishment colours. Each handmade crew takes upwards of 5 hours to make, and goes through 4 sets of hands before being sent out to you. Features combination embroidery with wool felt applique embellishment on the back.

Johnnie Walker Blue Label Scotch Whisky Chinese New Year Edition ($374.95): Growing up, there was always a bottle of Johnnie Walker at the banquet dinner table at every celebration. This 750 ml special edition bottle celebrates with the aromas of light peat, caramel, cereal and citrus are present. The palate displays caramel, peat, and apple. The finish is long, lingering and soothing. This Blue Label bottle design has been intricately illustrated by Chinese artist Shan Jiang for the Year of the Tiger.

Shanghai Tang: Limited Edition Year of the Tiger Chopsticks. A cherished keepsake, beautifully crafted with a brass depiction of the beloved tiger and painted in auspicious colours perfect for Chinese New Year, these coveted limited edition chopsticks are packaged in a red presentation box for extra good fortune. Set of two ($205 US)

HONG SHING: Inspired by the colour vermilion, the flowers represent life and longevity while the jade colour symbolizes purity. This limited -edition basketball ($80) from one of Toronto’s most established Chinatown restaurants, is official NBA size and made of premium composition leather and laid-in composite leather.

LEGO: This year’s Lunar New Year set  ($149.99 Can) is a winter wonderland! with 1,519 pieces, the incredibly detailed scene makes for a perfect celebration activity. This also includes 13 mini figures, ice sculpture, skating rink, ski slope, photo booth, with so much more. Other sets also available.

Papabubble Artisanal Candies: Start the new year on a sweet note with these hand-made artisanal candies from this Toronto-based outpost. This year’s mix includes lychee, mango and tangerine flavours available in jars and adorable packages perfect for gifting.

Wai Tack Kee Fine Foods: Lotus Blossom Cookies are made right here in Toronto and make a beautiful gift to bring to family and friends. The traditional recipes are from Joe Tam’s own family and made with all-natural and wholesome ingredients using baking techniques he’s learned studying in Hong Kong. Other traditional Chinese snacks are also offered.

 

 

 

 

 

*Lead in photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash