Winter Solstice Lantern Festival celebrates shortest day of the year

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On December 22, days officially begin getting longer, signalling a bright spot in an otherwise dreary month of dark mornings and 4:30 p.m. sunsets.

Winter Solstice is the annual event marking the shortest day of the year, as opposed to Summer Solstice marking the longest day of the year in June. The Secret Lantern Society in Vancouver has celebrated the day for 22 years through the Winter Solstice Lantern Festival, bringing illumination and festivity to the day.

Lanterns, fire, singing and dancing are all part of the celebration which will occur in three Vancouver neighbourhoods on Monday, December 21. Yaletown, Granville Island and Strathcona/Chinatown are the participating areas this year and will begin their festivities with a lantern procession starting at 6 p.m.

Multicultural performances and activities will follow in indoor venues and participants are encouraged to visit the Labyrinth of Light at Granville Island and Yaletown, a maze of lanterns meant to form a meditative ceremony for self-realization and improvement.

The event is free for families and people of all ages, but small donations are encouraged to keep the Secret Lantern Society up and running for years to come. There are also lantern workshops and other reserved spaces available for purchase.

For full event information, visit secretlantern.org.

Winter Solstice Lantern Festival

Where: 

  • Roundhouse Community Centre – 181 Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver
  • False Creek Community Centre – 1318 Cartwright Street, Vancouver
  • Performance Works – 1218 Cartwright Street, Vancouver
  • Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Garden – 578 Carrall Street, Vancouver
  • Strathcona Community Centre – 601 Keefer Street, Vancouver

When: Monday, December 21; 6 p.m.

More info: secretlantern.org

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Jill Slattery Jill Slattery was born and raised in Vancouver, where she also earned an Arts degree from UBC in English and Creative Writing. She is an avid TV-watcher and a shameless Taylor Swift fangirl. Jill is a Staff Writer at Vancity Buzz. Contact her at jill@vancitybuzz.com
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