Once the Christmas holidays are over we set my eyes on the Lunar New Year. For my family, this is a way more important holiday to celebrate. As we move into the Year of the Rabbit, there are many traditions (old and new) that help us ring in a fresh start.
The Year of the Rabbit is expected to be a year of hope. It also happens to be in element of Water which brings a year of fluidity – a more gentler and calmer year overall compared to the wild 2022 we just experienced as a Tiger Year. You can read more here.
According to Chinese astrology, those born in the Year of the Rabbit have traits known to be generally gentle, quiet, elegant, and alert as well as quick, skillful, kind, patient. They are very responsible, sometimes reluctant to reveal their minds to others and having a tendency to escape reality, but always faithful to those around them. (Source: chinahighlights.com)
Celebrating the Lunar New Year is more than a one-night event. Festivities lasts 15-days and each day has its own significance. The actual New Year date this year is Sunday, January 22. Yes, it changes every year according to the Lunar Calendar.
Some of the traditions include a thorough cleaning of our homes (sweep out negative energy and bad luck) prior to New Year’s Day, enjoying longevity noodles (don’t cut them!), eating dumplings (represents wealth) and getting our “lei see bao” or “hong bao” aka little red envelopes ready filled with money for good wishes, and eating. Lots of eating! And giving other gifts to those who are closest to us seem to be gaining momentum each year. And well, a little gift to ourselves is okay, right?
Here are some of my favourite Lunar New Year “Lucky Rabbit” goodies available now!
Ladurée Canada: Macaron lovers! This collectable box is decorated in traditional red and gold colours of good fortune. Boxes can be selectively filled with eight macarons (Ladurée’s classic or specialty flavours). For the Lunar New Year, Ladurée’s famous macarons can also be customized with the symbolic rabbit or luxurious gold leaf detailing at an additional cost.
In Vancouver, Ladurée’s Pastry Laboratory will also be offering a limited edition ‘Evidence’ cake for Lunar New Year, available January 12 – 22. This special dessert by Ladurée’s executive pastry chef from France, Alexandra Launay, is made with a red chocolate base filled with yuzu and tangerine cremeaux and madeleine biscuit, topped with a delicate coconut mousse and decorated with a gold leaf and shiny red glaze. Ladurée’s famous macaron pyramids, a suitable party centre-piece, are available to purchase during the holiday with both custom and classic flavours from its Vancouver and Toronto locations.Tilley x Louis Fishauf Year of the Rabbit CNY Collection:
Canadian Designer Louis Fishauf is one of Canada’s most respected graphic artists and visual communicators. His innovative graphic style has garnered awards and industry recognition in Canada and abroad which makes these pieces unique as we celebrate the year of the rabbit. Associated with longevity and prosperity, this limited edition collaboration is designed to celebrate Canada’s diversity, the Lunar New Year, and Louis Fishauf’s Rabbit design.Hong Shing x Asian Gold Ribbon: The iconic Chinatown restaurant in collaboration with The Asian Gold Ribbon Campaign have created a capsule collection for the Lunar New Year 2023. Portion of the proceeds will be donated to Asian Gold Ribbon campaign, a national non-profit organization fighting against anti-Asian racism and dedicated to raising Asian cultural pride. This year’s collection includes a “Red Pocket” Cap and the “Lucky Rabbit” Crewneck Sweatshirt. LOEWE Year of the Rabbit Collection: Several new items added to this luxury brand for the LNY including this adorable Hammock Nugget Bunny in nappa calfskin. We adore everything bunny but this one is not too over the top cutesy with its subtle nod to the lucky rabbit. Wear this soft bag cross body or hand held. Comes in a few colours.
Johnnie Walker Blue Label X Angel Chen Limited Edition: This year, Johnnie Walker has partnered with famed fashion designer, Angel Chen, to create the design of these limited-edition collector bottles that feature a dynamic, modern interpretation of 2023’s Zodiac animal: the sprightly rabbit. Symbolizing mercy, elegance and beauty, the rabbit signifies longevity in traditional Asian culture and as an echo of the Johnnie Walker motto, Keep Walking, golden prancing rabbits are captured bounding amongst mountainous peaks throughout the design. The Johnnie Walker Blue Label Year Of The Rabbit and Johnnie Walker King George V Lunar New Year are available now.
Lucky Red Pockets by I’ll Know it When I See It: This Vancouver based small business is adored for their cheeky sayings on cards, notebooks, stickers and other fun items. The designs are fun and less traditional but still respectful. Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum Lunar New Year Limited Edition: This Korean beauty brand has a loyal following for good reason! This iconic best-selling serum with its blend of five precious Korean herbs is very popular for hydration, brightening and firming results. Great for decreasing fine lines, dullness and uneven texture. The Lunar New Year bottle is a collectible and sought after by fans of this brand and this serum. Find it at Nordstrom.
NARS Lunar New Year Brush Set: This limited-edition brush set features four full-sized brushes specially designed for the New Year with red handles. It includes the #16 Blush Brush for seamless cheek applications, the #15 Precision Powder Brush to highlight small areas of the face, the #22 Blending Brush for diffusing eyeshadow, and the #21 Small Eyeshadow Brush for targeted shading on the eyes or underneath brows.
Charlotte Tilbury Blossom Red Lunar New Year Matte Revolution Lipstick: This long-lasting and hydrating lipstick formula is enriched with orchid extract to help protect and soothe lips with a cashmere finish. It also has 3D glowing pigments to help lips appear fuller and more luscious.SWATCH Year of the Rabbit: to celebrate the Lunar New Year, this latest watch is both super fun and eco-responsible! The golden-coloured mirror face with red and black print of this new Gent Bioceramic watch includes adorable bunny-ear hands. Collectors will want to hop fast for this one! BANG & OLUFSEN Lunar New Year Beosound A1 2nd Generation Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker: In celebration of the Lunar New Year 2023, BANG & OLUFSEN presents a limited-edition collection inspired by the classic colours and elements of the ancient Silk Road in China. The speaker’s jade green colour recalls the sacred stone, a symbol of royalty, goodness, preciousness, and beauty. Available at Holt Renfrew.Swarovski Rabbit Ornament: This cute ornament depicting a rabbit sitting on an auspicious golden coin. Full of charm and symbolism, it shimmers with 388 facets of clear, pink, black, and golden crystal. It hangs on a red thread with red tassels. Representing elegance, good luck, and longevity.
Wai Tack Kee Baked Goods (Toronto): This local and family-run bakery provides to many Asian grocers but you can also purchase their sought after Chinese New Year goodies directly. The family business journey began in Hong Kong, where throughout his childhood Joe Tam would bond with his mother in their small kitchen, hand-making traditional Chinese snacks. His love for crafting the perfect recipe led him to enroll in Hong Kong Polytechnic University, where he learned baking techniques and opened his own bakery. He also studied in Taiwan and infuses Taiwanese flavours into his products. Named after his mother and brother, who has supported him throughout his business journey, Wai Tack Kee fuses the traditional recipes of his mother with 18 years of perfecting recipes. Wai Tack Kee’s traditional snacks use all-natural wholesome ingredients. Their Lotus Blossom Cookies are a must!
Williams Sonoma Lunar Dinnerware Collection: Set the table for Lunar New Year & special occasions all year long with this vibrant dinnerware collection. Dishes and serving platters features animals, mythical creatures & symbols. Made of porcelain & stoneware, the collection boasts bright gold rims & glazed interiors that help you create a beautiful, welcoming table.
Barbie x Guo Pei: Mattel has unveiled the latest collaboration with Chinese fashion designer Guo Pei just in time for the Lunar New Year. This year’s stunning doll is draped in classic Chinese royal blue with a golden dragon embroidery that represents good luck and strength. The doll also includes detailing of golden earrings, sparkly puffy statement ring, and gold heels. This is a collectible doll that also comes with a Certificate of Authenticity.
Bayview Village Shops Lunar New Year Pop Up Luxe Boutique: January 14 to February 5. If you’re in Toronto, visit this upscale mall’s curated pop up boutique featuring 20 local Asian-Canadian artisans and designers. The mall is also offering special workshops, beauty demos, food tastings and photo opportunities complete with florals and hanging lanterns. Visit their site for full details.
Want to learn more about the traditions and customs specifically for Chinese New Year? Link to a previous post here.