If you were born in the year 1912 or 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996 or after yesterday this year, you are a rat! (sort of)
According to the Chinese Lunar Calendar this year is the Year of the Rat. The Chinese use a Lunar Calendar that operates on a 12 year cycle. Each year is represented by a different animal. This year it is the rat; last year it was the pig; next year will be the rabbit and so on.
In China, it is no shame to be associated with the rat. It is deemed an honor to be born in the year of the rat and it is considered a privilege even to be associated with a rat. The Chinese say rats are self-reliant problem solvers with an instinctive power of observation that makes them most likely to survive in difficult situations.
People born in the Year of the Rat are considered calm and perceptive, but also require a lot of physical and mental stimulation. They are blessed with among the finest intellects but tend to take on too much at once. But add to their intellect an abiding curiosity and and bright imagination and rats seem as sharp as needles.
So how does this all affect the hostel and Toronto?
Toronto is, without a doubt, the most multi-cultural city on the planet! There are other large cities with sizable ethnic minorities (London for example); but, none with quite the blend of ethnicities as Toronto. And the real factor is that we all seem to get along!
So when you visit Toronto, you may be treated to a number of ethnic festivals. Toronto’s Chinatown is all decked out for the Lunar New Year. There are actually about 5 “Chinatowns” in the Toronto region and about half a million people of Chinese descent.
Toronto is justifiably proud of its’ reputation for tolerance. It makes this city a pretty good place to visit!
Gung Hei Fat Choi! (Greeting’s and Prosperity)
A dancer at a New Year’s celebration
A Dragon Dance at Toronto’s New Year’s Parade.
A ra…..oops, (an honest mistake!)