The Lunar New Year is always a celebration we look forward to with family and friends.  As we enter the Year of the Dragon we know it can mean many things depending how it relates to your own Chinese astrological sign. Obviously we can assume that the Year of the Dragon will be strong and full of energy. The dragon is a symbol of confidence, power, luck, strength, honour and is considered the most popular amongst all signs. Here are a few gift modern day gift ideas to usher in the new year!

Yut Lik Club Calendar:

I grew up seeing these calendars at my grandparents place. They would always be so excited to received free calendars at their favourite supermarket. But this particular style was coveted. The one the that also included auspicious guidance on what you should, or shouldn’t, do on any given day. Deeply rooted in Chinese traditions we all took note growing up. This modern version includes English translations – consider it a Chinese almanac for everyday.

I’ll Know It When I See It: 

This west coast small business creates snarky goods that make us LOL. With canto sayings I grew up with including “So Ma Fan” (translates: such a hassle) and “Ho Duk Yee” (translation: very cute…or peculiar). Find tote bags, stickers, notebooks, red envelopes, and notecards. A winner of a gift for Cantonese speaking millennial or Gen Xers.

Hong Shing Year of the Dragon: The legendary and iconic Toronto Chinese restaurant has started revealing their Lunar New Year merchandise that includes a NBA regulation size basketball with pretty fierce graphic design. If you’ve seen the previous collections you’ll want to add this one to your collection. We’re also anticipating the release of this year’s apparel line as well that sells out quickly. 

SWATCH Year of the Dragon Collection:

The popular watch company has revealed not one, but five, new dragon themed watches to usher in the Lunar New Year. Dragon in Motion, Dragon in Wind Pay!, Dragon in Waves, Dragon in Gold, and Dragon in Cloud. Each design represents power, strength, and good luck with style.

Roots x CLOT Lunar New Year Capsule Collection:

“Stay Lucky” is the theme of this year’s collaborative collection with streetwear brand Clots. Bold dragons adorn each piece from varsity jackets, sweats, and leather goods. Collection pieces for the entire family. I’m coveting the tote.  

Year of the Dragon Capsule Collection Miles the Label:

A celebration of tradition and inclusivity for children! This first kidswear collection by this Montreal-based company shares cultural pride and celebration that is fun, comfortable and meaningful. Miles the Label are made with sustainability in mind with eco-conscious materials. Embody the year of the dragon with this capsule’s stylish pieces, and get ready to accept an abundance of strength, good fortune, and success in 2024! Available on their site as well as Indigo, The Bay, and local shops.

lunar new year - Dragon - kids - miles the label

LEGO Auspicious Dragon: 

Every year, LEGO releases the highly sought after Lunar New Year building kits. In celebration of the Year of the Dragon, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see this sell out quickly. The design includes details such as printed skin elements, tilting head and moving mouth. This kit is suitable for ages 10+ and includes 1171 pieces. There are other sets available during the Spring Festival.

Fukukan Fortune Cans by Muji:

Muji, the Japanese lifestyle brand, offers a new collection of Fortune Cans each year to celebrate the winter holidays. Inside each sealed can offers one of eight lucky charm hand-made toys. The company began offering the cans in 2010 and they’ve become global collectibles. Today, each version is made in a different region in Japan by traditional artisans. Each one has a unique style and hidden meaning. You can read more about the history, the stories of each toy, and how they support local communities here

Lunar New Year:

by Natasha Lim. Captures the magic of the celebration by exploring how Ling and her family enjoy the biggest Chinese festival of the year. The new year festival lasts for 15 days full of preparation, celebration, and symbolism. Join Ling, her sister Mei and granny Po Po as they clean the house from top to bottom, pick fresh flowers from the garden, visit friends and family, and carry red lanterns through their neighborhood. Ling invites the reader into her home and family, allowing the reader to experience this special celebration first-hand through an authentic narrative non-fiction story.

The Lucky Red Envelope: A lift-the-flap Lunar New Year Celebration:

By Vicki Chang (Suitable for ages 3 to 5)

Get ready for Lunar New Year, following a little girl and her family as they get ready for and celebrate the Lunar New Year festival. With 12 spreads and 12 flaps (over 140 in total). includes information about the significance of certain rituals, but told through the excited eyes of a child.

Bitty Bao Lucky Lunar Animals:

A Bilingual Book in English and Mandarin with Simplified Characters and Pinyin by Lacey Benard , Lulu Cheng (suitable for 3 to 5 year old)

The Chinese zodiac is based on a story of a great race amongst animals. Lucky Lunar Animals takes readers through the 12-animal cycle to discover the personality traits of each in both English and Mandarin Chinese. Readers will also be able to use the included chart to determine their own zodiac animal based on their birth year. Great for families in search of an engaging and interactive Chinese zodiac book for their bitty babes that not only captures their attention and teaches various animal names in two languages, but also celebrates Chinese culture!

Our Three New Years:

By Cynthia Cheng Mintz. How many New Years does your family celebrate? Yes, there’s more than one! For interracial families with young children comes this delightful story about Tory and Andy — five-year-old twins who celebrate not one, not two, but THREE different New Years! See how the twins and their family celebrate Lunar New Year, Rosh Hashanah, and the end of the calendar year-especially the different yummy foods they eat. Meet Mommy and Daddy, Poh Poh and Gung Gung, and Bubbe and Zayde, as well as cousins, aunts, and uncles in this fun story about a modern interfaith and interethnic family. Told from the twins’ perspective, this story puts a unique spin on tradition. Available at Indigo, Amazon, and others.

WAI TAK KEE Chinese Snacks:

Baker Joe Tam continues to make the most delicious Lunar New Year treats. Ideal for gift giving to all –  the freshest and best tasting in the city. Family recipes stem from over 18 years with some infused in Taiwanese flavours. All natural, wholesome ingredients made locally in GTA. Order in advance as they are hand made in small-batches. The Lotus-shaped blossom cookies are very popular (get extra for yourself). Gifting presentation trays also available. Some will also be available at T&T Supermarkets.

Lunar New Year Market with The Welcome Market and Auntie Supply:

February 2, 3, and 4 at 938 Queen Street West. This pop up market will have 35+ vendors, exclusive Lunar New Year goodies, and even a Dim Sum Drag Queen brunch. Great place to get your gifts while supporting local businesses including ArtKet Goods. Free entry.

Hong Shing x June Plum – General Tao Chicken Patties:

Chinese food and Jamaican food have always been staples of Toronto food culture. For Lunar New Year, Hong Shing is excited to partner with June Plum on a limited release of a General Tao Chicken Patty. The General Tao Chicken at Hong Shing has been a staple item on the menu since 1997. The balance of sweet, savoury, and spicy is the perfect filling that Chef Craig Wong mastered into a patty for this collaboration. June Plum will be selling limited quantities of the General Tao Chicken Patty from January 25, 2024. 

If you’re curious about your Chinese horoscope and how it relates to the Year of the Dragon, check out this link here.