LunarFest 2014 Lights Up Vancouver for Chinese New Year

Photo credit: GoToVan | Flickr

The Chinese New Year festivities continue on during the week with the CIBC LunarFest. From February 7th to 9th, LunarFest 2014 will light up the Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza with a lantern festival, lion dancers, cultural and art demonstrations and workshops, and a dumpling festival.

LunarFest began in Vancouver in 2009 as a Vancouver Winter Olympics Legacy Event. The annual event is now the premiere festival of contemporary Asian arts and culture, and even expanded to Toronto in 2012. In addition to celebrating the Lunar New Year, LunarFest is an event that brings Canadians together to share in the diversity of Canada and create new forms of artistic expression. Every year, LunarFest brings together Canadian and international presenters in artistic collaboration. The goal of LunarFest is to bring together soul, art, and life on one stage.

This year, LunarFest recognises the Year of the Horse in its artistic direction, asking, “What would happen to human history if horses never existed?” Drawing inspiration from this question, LunarFest 2014 will feature a stallion, mare, colt, and filly in its lantern theatrical presentation, as well as a 15 foot-tall rocking horse, in honour of the contribution horses have made to our world.

Lantern Palaces 12-7pm
A theatrical lantern experience like no other, LunarFest 2014 has created a play using lanterns as players to tell the story. Inspired by puppetry, a family of life-sized lantern horses will take viewers on a journey through historical Asia. Shows run every hour; following the show audience members can take a closer view of the lanterns.

Lion Dancers of the World 12-7pm
Watch a variety of lion dances from different cultures. Chinese lions, Japanese lions, Korean lions, Taiwanese lions, Indian lions, and Indonesian lions will all be represented at LunarFest. Shows run every hour.

Photo credit: Charles Haynes | Flickr

Dumpling Festival 11am-7:30pm
Sample and savour a wide range of delectable dumplings. For hundreds of years, dumplings have been an important dish to Asian cultures, with even the stuffing taking on significant meaning. Leek stuffing represents long-lasting relationships, while celery stuffing symbolizes diligence. Try these and more at the Dumpling Festival.

Games 11am-7pm
Visit the Activity Tent for stamp collecting, fortune telling, optical illusions, and lunar charms. Create your own Year of the Horse stamps, find guidance for the New Year, test your eyesight with optical illusions, and collect a lunar charm.

Workshops 11am-7pm
Visit the lantern-making workshops and leave a message in a Sky Lantern. All the lanterns collected from LunarFest in Vancouver and Toronto will be released at the Blessings in the Sky lantern launch in Cumberland, BC, on February 15th.

Storytelling 12-3pm
What would happen to human history if horses never existed? Join a group of talented young storytellers at the Activity Tent as they ask this question and share their perspectives. Hear all about the importance of horses in human history, as well as the storytellers’ own Asian heritage.

Meeting of the Drums
Enjoy Korean Drum, Dharma Drum Mountain, and Japanese Taiko performances. The Korean Drum performance will be on Friday, February 7th, from 2-3pm and 4-5pm. The Dharma Drum Mountain will perform on Saturday, February 8th, from 2-3pm and 3:30-4pm. Lastly, the Japanese Taiko performance will be on Sunday, February 9th, from 2-3pm. All performances will be held on the outdoor stage.

Lunar Tea 11am-7:30pm
For over 5,000 years, tea drinking in Asian cultures has been thought to boost energy, curb excess acidity, and has even been considered a detoxing agent. Sip a sample at LunarFest 2014.

CIBC LunarFest 2014
Date: February 7th – 9th, 2014
Time: 11am-7pm
Location: Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza
Admission: Free

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2 Responses to LunarFest 2014 Lights Up Vancouver for Chinese New Year

  1. Habi

    Nice……. but where’s Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza!?!?

    • Miranda

      It’s on West Georgia Street – between Hornby St and Howe St