February 19 marks the beginning of the Year of the Sheep, and for those who celebrate Chinese New Year, it’s the kickoff to 15 days of new year celebrations.
Chinese New Year festivities traditionally involve feasting, fireworks, parades and gifts. In the days leading up to Chinese New Year, celebrants make room for good luck and good fortune by cleaning their homes and getting their hair cut, while businesses are expected to settle outstanding debts and offer gifts of gratitude. Fresh decorations replace old ones, adorning homes in vibrant red and gold.
Chinese New Year is also about giving and sharing with family. On New Year’s Eve, families come together for a traditional meal, and exchange red envelopes filled with money.
According to the Chinese lunar calendar, the Year of the Sheep will be characterized by generosity, appreciation, peace and contemplation. In the spirit of the Year of the Sheep, here are a few ways you can integrate generosity and charitable giving into your Chinese New Year celebrations.
Host a Charitable Chinese New Year Party
While you fill your guests with traditional Chinese New Year dumplings (said to bring prosperity and wealth due to their shape, which resembles Chinese coins), why not encourage them to integrate charity as you ring in the year of the sheep?
Create a Giving Group, and ask your guests to contribute charitable donations. While you nosh on noodles, you can discuss which charity or charities they would like to support (some suggestions are below).
Give Your Friends and Family Charitable Gifts
If giving red envelopes filled with lucky money is part of your Chinese New Year tradition, why not add virtual charitable gifts to your list this year? With a Chimp account, which is free to set up, you can send charitable dollars to friends and family members, which they can give to any charity of their choice.
Donate Unwanted Items to Charity
If you spend your pre-New Year’s celebrations cleaning out your home to make space for good fortune, take any unwanted items to charitable organizations that can reuse them, or sell them and give the proceeds to a charity of your choice.
Give to Charities that Support the Chinese Community
There are many charities in Canada that serve the Chinese community. Here are a few you might consider supporting this Chinese Year New:
The Canadian Foundation for Chinese Heritage Preservation
This 20-year-old national charity works to promote the appreciation, education and preservation of Chinese cultural and historical treasures, and fosters closer relations between Canada and China.
One of BC’s largest service providers, with offices throughout BC since 1973, S.U.C.C.E.S.S. serves numerous multicultural communities. Originally established to provide immigration and settlement services, the organization now assists people at all stages of their Canadian experience.
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden Society of Vancouver
Vancouver’s Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden is a beautiful public sanctuary in the heart of Chinatown. Designed to represent a traditional Ming scholar’s residence, it offers a quiet space for contemplation within the city centre.
Need help giving to charity for Chinese New Year? Give us a call at 1-877-531-0580 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.