Chinese New Year Chinese New Year is my favourite holiday of the year - it is filled with vitality, bright happy colours and excitement.  It also seems to me like the most fitting time of the year to celebrate the arrival of a New Year because (if you're in Victoria), the flowers are already blooming and a feeling of spring is in the air. Victoria's Chinatown is well worth visiting any time of year, especially since it is Canada's Oldest Chinatown and a designated national historic site.  It is always a colourful, charming and bustling neighbourhood to begin with, but around Chinese New Year it is especially magical .  Store windows are decorated with traditional red and gold good luck symbols, and the Chinatown grocers have an array of tempting and delicious goodies on display, such as mandarin oranges with bright green stems and leaves still attached (a symbol of good luck and prosperity), and bundles of fresh lychee fruit (which is eaten at this time of year because it symbolizes strong family relationships). The Lion Dance, which takes place in Victoria's Chinatown on Sunday February 6 this year, is the perfect way to ring in the Year of the Rabbit.  It's believed to bring luck, and who couldn't use a little extra luck and blessings?  The Lion Dance starts at approximately noon, near the entrance to the majestic Gates of Harmonious Interest and winds its way throughout the entire neighbourhood, stopping at all the businesses who feed the Lion with lucky red envelopes and lettuce, and in return the Lion dances in front of each one, and firecrackers are released in the doorways to ward away evil spirits. I like to pick up a honeybun to snack on while waiting for the performance to begin, and then follow it up with Dim Sum or an exotic lunch at a local restaurant - Victoria's Chinatown is also home to a terrific selection of Chinese restaurants who offer great Chinese New Year's menus at this time of year.  Gung Hay Fat Choy!