Chinese Lantern Festival Will Light Up the PNE Grounds This Winter (Free Ticket Giveaway!)

Beginning on December 15th, the largest festival of its kind in Canada will feature 35 illuminated displays transforming over 14 acres of Hastings Park into an explosion of light and colors. The event runs daily from December 15 (closed Christmas Day) until January 21, 2018.

“It is a tremendous honour to have been selected by this leading cultural organization as the inaugural host in Canada for this important festival,” says Mike McDaniel, President and CEO of the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE). “We anticipate people from all ethnicities and cultures from across our region will be excited about the opportunity to see this important and impressive display.”

Lantern festivals started during the Han Dynasty, about 2,000 years ago. For centuries, lanterns festivals have been lit on the fifteenth day of the first month in the Chinese calendar to pray for a good harvest, and to gain favor of Taiyi, god of heaven. Today, the lantern festivals are still held each year around the country, with each major Chinese city having its own light festival.  In ancient times, the lanterns were fairly simple, and only the emperor and noblemen had large ornate ones. In modern times, lanterns have been embellished with many complex designs such as the ones that will be on display at the PNE.

Zigong, hometown of the Lantern Festival, has some of the best lantern artisans in China where skills and a tradition of craftsmanship are passed down through the generations.

The Festival will be featuring Dragon, White Pagoda, Kylin, and Huabiao Column lanterns, each lantern symbolizing a Chinese sage or legend. Dragons have been a symbol of worship for over 4 thousand years, and are considered the noblest creature in the world. Pagodas are a traditional part of architecture, and since ancient times have been praised for the spectacular views. Kylin is a traditional beast with a calm temperament in ancient Chinese tales. Ancient people believed that where there are Kylin, there is a favorable omen. Huabiao are famous structures in the Forbidden City in Beijing, made of jade, with one column at the front gate, and one at the back of the city facing inwards. The columns are said to be protectors of the residents and a reminder for the emperor to pay attention to his duties.

In addition to the lantern displays, the festival will also include nightly performances in the PNE Amphitheatre:  6:30pm & 8:30pm on Sundays through Thursdays and 6:30pm, 8:30pm & 9:30pm on Fridays & Saturdays. Featuring Face Changing, Acrobatics, Plate Spinners, Folk Dance, Jar Balancing and Erhu. These exciting performances are family friendly, and are sure to wow. The lantern festival will also feature a food and beverage program and additional children’s activities.

Ticket Prices (includes all fees)

  • Adult (13-64) $19
  • Senior (65+) $14.50
  • Child (4-11) $13.50
  • Family Pass 2 Adult & 2 Children $55.00
  • Children under 3 years old are free

Group Rates available for groups of 10 and more

Call PNE Group Sales at 604.252.3663 for more info

For more information about The Vancouver Chinese Lantern Festival visit

Event Info:

When: December 15, 2017 until January 20, 2018 (closed December 25th)
Where: PNE Grounds | Hastings and Renfrew
Time: Fridays and Saturdays, 5:00pm – 11:00pm | Sunday through Thursday, 5:00pm – 10:00pm
Tickets: Purchase online

Free Ticket Giveaway!

We’re giving away two pairs of tickets to this year’s Chinese Lantern Festival. Simply post a comment below telling us why you want to check out this event and be automatically entered to win. We’ll select two lucky winners on Wednesday, December 13th and notify the winners by email. Good luck!

Updated Wednesday, December 13th: Congratulations Rosemarie and Joanna! You are each the lucky recipient of a pair of tickets to this year’s Chinese Lantern Festival. Please check your inbox for further details on how to go about claiming your prize. Thank you to everyone who entered for a chance to win. We hope you can all make it out to this year’s event!

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