7 Chinese New Year events in Metro Vancouver

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Chinese New Year / Shutterstock

The Year of the Goat arrives on Thursday, February 19, and it marks the start of a fifteen day festival and holiday. It is the most important holiday in the Chinese calendar.

The arrival of the Chinese New Year (a.k.a.Spring Festival or Lunar New Year) comes along with traditional cultural elements, customs and celebrations. Vancouver boasts one of North America’s largest clusters of major Chinese New Year celebrations – check out these events over the next few days and weeks!

1. Aberdeen Centre’s Chinese New Year Midnight Countdown on January 30

The midnight countdown at Richmond’s Aberdeen Centre on Wednesday, February 18 is Metro Vancouver’s largest Chinese New Year countdown celebration. It will feature cultural performances, singing, dancing, fortune telling and a live Chinese televised countdown with Fairchild Television. The event is mainly programmed for Vancouver’s Chinese language community.

  • Date: Wednesday, February 18
  • Time: 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.
  • Location: Aberdeen Centre (4151 Hazelbridge Way, Richmond) 
  • Cost: FREE!

2. LunarFest Vancouver 2015

LunarFest at the Vancouver Art Gallery plaza fulfills the “Lantern Festival” aspect of Chinese New Year festivities. Running from Friday, February 20 to Sunday, February 22, this year’s event features hundreds of life-sized, hand-crafted lanterns shaped to sheep.

The Vancouver Dumpling Festival will coincide with LunarFest with a wide range of delectable dumplings (a symbol of wealth and prosperity. The festival tent booth can also be found on site at the Vancouver Art Gallery plaza.

  • Dates and Times: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, February 20 and Saturday, February 21; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, February 22
  • Location: Vancouver Art Gallery North Plaza
  • Cost: FREE! 

3. Chinese New Year Parade Vancouver 2015

The parade takes place on Sunday, February 22, 2015 and is a signature event of Vancouver’s Chinatown with lion and dragon dances, cultural dance troupes, marching bands, martial arts performances and much more. More than 3,000 people are expected to perform and march along a 1.3-km parade route lined with 50,000+ people.

  • Date: Sunday, February 22
  • Time: Begins at 11 a.m. with a duration of 2.5 hours
  • Location: Vancouver Chinatown
  • Cost: FREE!

4. Year of the Goat Celebration at International Village

The Chinese New Year festival at Vancouver Chinatown’s International Village shopping centre returns from Thursday, February 19 to Sunday, February 22 to celebrate the Year of the Goat. Check it out after you watch the Chinese New Year Parade on February 22!

This lively, indoor festival is a massive, free event featuring firecrackers, exhibition booths and live stage performances. It will kick off with a midnight countdown event on Thursday, January 30.

  • Dates and Times: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Thursday, February 19 to Saturday, February 21; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, February 22
  • Location: International Village (88 West Pender Street, Vancouver)
  • Cost: FREE!

5. Flight of the Dragon at FlyOver Canada

FlyOver Canada is celebrating Chinese New Year until March 5! Guests will be able to experience “Flight of the Dragon” and “FlyOver Canada back-to-back for the regular FlyOver admission price!

First, follow a mythical dragon as you soar over some of China’s most spectacular landscapes and scenery during Flight of the Dragon. Then, stay seated and take off again to experience FlyOver Canada, a thrilling flight ride that takes you from east to west across Canada. Both rides incorporate state of the art special effects including wind, scents and mist.

6. Vancouver Chinatown Spring Festival & Cultural Fair 2015

This year’s Spring Festival will be held on both days over the Vancouver Chinatown Chinese New Year Parade weekend on February 21 and 22. The festival will be located at the Sun Yat-Sen Plaza (50 East Pender Street) on both days and will feature multicultural performances, special lion dances, martial arts demonstrations and more.

  • Dates: Saturday, February 21 and Sunday, February 22
  • Times: All day with performances occurring from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Location: Sun Yat-Sen Plaza (50 East Pender Street, Vancouver)
  • Cost: FREE!

7. Year of the Goat Temple Fair at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden

The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden in Vancouver Chinatown presents a family-friendly festival on Sunday, February 22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Featuring traditional Chinese games, dumpling and noodle-making demos, arts and crafts for kids and much more!

  • Dates: Sunday, February 22
  • Times: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Location: Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden (578 Carrall Street, Vancouver)
  • Cost: FREE!

 

Feature Image: Chinese New Year via Shutterstock

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