The Chinese New Year began Thursday and marked the start of a fifteen-day-long festival full of colorful celebrations, cultural events and traditional dishes. But the Chinese New Year – also known as the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival – isn’t just a celebration for the Chinese. Korean, Vietnamese and many other East Asian cultures also observe the traditional New Year and it’s a huge celebration in Vancouver, British Columbia, where more than 43 percent of the population has an Asian heritage, according to McClatchy-Tribune News Service. Below are some of the best Chinese New Year 2015 events in Vancouver to kick-off the Year of the Sheep/Goat/Ram.
Come see hundreds of life-sized, hand-crafted lanterns shaped like sheep at LunarFest from Friday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST at the Vancouver Art Gallery. While you’re there, visit the Vancouver Dumpling Festival for a wide range of delectable dumplings. Admission into the festivals is free.
Don’t miss the Cultural Fair at the Vancouver Chinatown Spring Festival, which will be held at the Sun Yat-Sen Plaza from 2 to 4 p.m. PST on Saturday and Sunday. The fair has free admission and will host multicultural performances including a special lion dance as well as military and martial arts demonstrations.
The Vancouver Chinatown Spring Festival Parade will return for the 42nd year on Sunday. This signature event in Vancouver’s Chinatown is an annual cultural festivity not to be missed. The parade celebrates the new year of the Chinese lunar calendar with lion dances, cultural dance troupes, marching bands, martial arts performances and more. The parade has over 3,000 participants from various community and cultural groups in Canada and draws over 50,000 spectators along the route each year. The Chinatown parade will begin at 11 a.m. PST Sunday and will be broadcasted on Shaw TV Channel 4 as well as Shaw Multicultural Channel 16, according to the Chinese Benevolent Association of Vancouver.
The Floata Seafood Restaurant in Vancouver’s Chinatown will be hosting the annual Chinese New Year Banquet at 6 p.m. PST Sunday. Tickets to the banquet are $35 and include both dinner and live performances of singing, cultural dances and more.
Listen to a fusion of Western and Asian instruments at the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s Pacific Rim Celebration on Feb. 28 in the Orpheum Theater. The annual gala will begin at 7:30 p.m. PST and tickets cost $25 to $70.
Looking for something other than a festival to get a taste of China during the Lunar New Year? FlyOver Canada, a family-friendly flight simulation ride, is offering guests the “Flight of the Dragon” experience and its signature “FlyOver Canada” ride back-to-back for the regular admission price until March 5. First, follow a mythical dragon as you soar over some of China’s most spectacular landscapes and scenery. Then, take off again to experience a thrilling flight ride that takes you from east to west across Canada. Both rides use cutting-edge special effects including wind, scents and mist. Purchase your tickets online and receive a discount.