Harbourfront’s LunarFest Celebrates Year of the Sheep

LunarFest - Dragon Dancers 1, photo credit ACSEA
Dragon Dancers at LunarFest, photo credit ACSEA

By Lori Bosworth

The Chinese New Year began on February 19, 2015 and this year is the Year of the Sheep (or Goat or Ram, if you prefer). Harbourfront Centre is celebrating the Chinese New Year with its fourth annual LunarFest, a free Toronto event taking place from February 28 to March 1, 2015.

LunarFest - Dragon Dancers 1, photo credit ACSEA
Dragon Dancers at LunarFest, photo credit ACSEA

LunarFest, which is co-produced with the Asian Canadian Special Events Association (ACSEA), will feature lunar traditions from China, Vietnam, Taiwan and Korea. Enjoy traditional delicacies, crafts, festive lunar performances, and dramatic art installations.

At LunarFest, you’ll have the chance to:

  • Watch Taiwan’s Jhuo Lan Dragon Dance Team perform a glow-in-the-dark piece;
  • Enjoy traditional Asian culinary specialties at Dumpling Fest;
  • Take a tour of the outdoor installation, World’s Little Shepherds, reflecting sheep, the animal of the Chinese New Year 2015.

“This year we wanted to incorporate traditions from across Asia to celebrate the diversity within the Lunar New Year,” explains Charlie Wu, festival curator and managing director of Asian Canadian Special Events Association. LunarFest at Harbourfront is “a projection of various cultures represented in a single celebration,” says Wu.

LunarFest - Meeting of the Drums at Harbourfront, photo ACSEA
Meeting of the Drums at LunarFest, photo credit ACSEA

Were you born in the Year of the Sheep?

February 1, 1919 to February 19, 1920 – Earth Sheep
February 17, 1931 to February 5, 1932 – Metal Sheep
February 5, 1943 to January 24, 1944 – Water Sheep
January 24, 1955 to February 11, 1956 – Wood Sheep
February 9, 1967 to January 22, 1968 – Fire Sheep
January 28, 1979 to February 15, 1980 – Earth Sheep
February 15, 1991 to February 3, 1992 – Metal Sheep
February 1, 2003 to January 21, 2004 – Water Sheep
February 19, 2015 – February 7, 2016 – Wood Sheep

Characteristics of People Born in the Year of the Sheep

Those born in the Year of the Sheep are kind, compassionate, tolerant, reliable, cautious, passive and inflexible. The Chinese astrological sign of the Sheep is similar to the Western Astrological sign of Cancer. Thus in the Year of the Sheep, we can expect a gentler year (than the previous Year of the Horse) where there is an emphasis on family, close friendships and relationships. It’s also a great time to express creativity. The Year of the Sheep will be extra fortunate for those with the Chinese astrological signs of sheep, rabbit, horse and pig.