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Thousands ring in Chinese Lunar New Year in Markham

Event ringing in Year of the Rat draws huge crowd to Markville Mall on Jan. 25
Jan. 30, 2020
Heidi Riedner

Current health concerns over the Wuhan novel coronavirus didn't stop thousands from attending Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations at Markville Shopping Centre on Saturday, Jan. 25.

The huge crowd was transfixed and fascinated by the cultural celebration marking the beginning of the Year of the Rat -- the first zodiac animal in the 12-year cycle, representing the beginning of a new day and signifying wealth and surplus.

Mayor Frank Scarpitti and Markham-Unionville MPP Billy Pang were among those who participated in the lion eye-dotting ceremony, which empowers the lion to come to life and kicks off the traditional lion dance, bestowing good luck, prosperity and happiness.

Sifu Paul Ng -- fortune teller and prominent Canadian leader in the ancient Chinese practices of geomancy, astrology, feng shui, qi gong, tai chi, acupuncture and philosophy -- was also on hand, and discussed all that the new year may bring.