Chinese Lunar New Year takes place Sunday, February 10, 2013. As the Year of the Snake gets underway, so does the feasting and family fun. Vancouver has tons of great Chinese New Year events to help you get in the spirit.
From the 40th annual Chinese New Year Parade in historic Chinatown (Feb. 17) to LunarFest and DumplingFest (Feb. 15-17) at the Vancouver Art Gallery plaza, plus a master list of the top-ranked Chinese restaurants in town, here’s the intel you need to celebrate.
Best Vancouver Chinese New Year Events 2013
1) CIBC LunarFest, Feb. 15-17
It started as a multicultural event for the Olympics and has evolved to be one of the most popular offbeat Chinese New Year celebrations. Head on over to the Vancouver Art Gallery to celebrate with art and performances from a variety of Asian cultures. You’ll find stunning visuals such as a “Lantern Jungle,” lion dances and, best of all, Dumpling Fest – with plump, doughy treats from China, Vietnam, Korea and Japan.
2) 40th Annual Chinese New Year Parade, Feb. 17
Vancouver has to wait until Sunday, February 17 for the Chinese New Year Parade . Chinese New Year is one of the most significant traditional Chinese holidays and it gets a heck of a party going in Vancouver’s historic Chinatown – the third largest Chinatown in all of North America. Over 3,000 people participate in the parade, creating a vibrant spectacle. The parade boasts the largest assembly of traditional lion dance teams in Canada, marching bands, martial arts experts, the Vancouver Police Department motorcycle drill team and various other multicultural and community groups. Some 50,000 Vancouverites turn out in the streets, rain or shine to cheer them on. Find details on transport and the parade route here.
3) Vancouver Chinatown Spring Festival – Cultural Fair, Feb. 16-17
Did you enjoy the Chinese New Year Parade? Take your celebration and/or cultural inquiry to the next level at the free Spring Fair in Sun Yat Sen Plaza where you can catch more demos including martial arts and a Lion Dance Grand Finale. The events run Saturday, February 16 from, 1pm to 4pm (with the opening ceremony at 1pm) and Sunday, February 17, 2pm to 4pm.
4) Chinese New Year Lion Dances, Feb. 17
There are many Lion Dances to choose from come Chinese New Year, but there’s no better back drop than historic Chinatown. Get “front row seats” by sticking around after the parade as the lions visit local merchants to dance, giving them good fortune for the coming year. This will start right after the parade and run until 4pm.
5) Year of the Snake Celebration at International Village, Feb. 15-17
A massive, free Chinese New Year event in Vancouver’s Chinatown featuring firecrackers, two levels of two levels of exhibition booths and live stage performances throughout the weekend
Bonus: Haven’t yet been invited to a traditional family feast? Then read up on greater Vancouver’s Best Chinese Food restaurants and dine out. 34,000 people voted in the Chinese Restaurant Awards this year! Whole fish and sticky rice are two auspicious Chinese New Year treats.
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