Chinese New Year’s celebrations abound all over the Lower Mainland

posted on January 29, 2014

By Matthew Robinson, Vancouver Sun | Link to Article

Dozens of Lunar New Year events are scheduled across the Lower Mainland as the year of the snake yields to the oncoming horse. Here are eight of the many notable celebrations.


By Matthew Robinson, Vancouver Sun | Link to Article

Dozens of Lunar New Year events are scheduled across the Lower Mainland as the year of the snake yields to the oncoming horse. Here are eight of the many notable celebrations.


Chinese New Year Parade

Feb. 2, 11 a.m. | Millenium Gate, Chinatown

Tickets and info: or 604-681-1923

The 41st annual Chinese New Year Parade through Chinatown is one of the biggest and longest running Lunar New Year celebrations going. Generations of residents have been thrilled year after year by dragon and lion dances, martial arts groups, marching bands, firecrackers, parade floats, and thousands of performers. The parade is a must-see Lunar New Year celebration. But be warned, if the idea of tens of thousands of spectators dressed in red and gold triggers your fear of crowds, you might as well keep looking down the list. The parade is just one part of the weekend-long Spring Festival. It has been hosted, for the most part, by the Chinese Benevolent Association since 1979.

Gung Haggis Fat Choy

March 16, 5 p.m. | Floata Restaurant, 180 Keefer St.

Tickets and info:

So you like your festivities multicultural? Undoubtedly the quirkiest and most inclusive Lunar New Year celebration is the Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner, now hitting its 17th year. A brief disclaimer — yes, the event comes a little late this year due to health and logistical concerns, and the organizers apologize profusely for that. But the benefit for the extra wait is that this year’s “reinvigorated” event will fuse some Irish and First Nations cultural elements into the annual Scottish and Chinese celebration. Haggis and shrimp won ton dumplings, haggis and hoisin lettuce wraps, and the vegetarian dish Buddha’s Feast are some of the menu highlights. Diners will also be treated to music and poetry. What’s not to love about this celebration of the year of the horse?

Celebrating Year of the Horse at International Village Mall

Jan. 30 to Feb. 2, times vary | 88 West Pender St.

Tickets and info:

Some readers might wonder why mall celebrations deserve to be listed among the region’s highlights. If you’re among them, get out there and find out why gathering spots like International Village and Aberdeen are great spots to celebrate the Lunar New Year. This year, the downtown shopping centre is staging a heritage village with arts and crafts, live performances, variety shows and food. The lower level of the mall will pack with booths selling festive goods, gifts and souvenirs.

Fu Man Wen Cheng — 2014 Chinese New Year Gala

Feb. 2, 7 p.m. | Orpheum, 601 Smithe Street

Tickets and info: or 778-881-5557

If a mall celebration is simply not your thing, perhaps this performance by Canadian and Chinese artists is. Chinese rocker Wang Feng, opera artist Geng Qiaoyun, and the renowned Liping Yang’s dance team join performers from Goh Ballet, the Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra, and others at the gala. On deck to host the event is former MTV Asia and Channel V video jockey David Wu, and it is directed by Xiao Min Zhang, the president of the Canadian Film and Television Institute, and tenor Zhenyu Liu. Part of the proceeds go to the Vancouver Children’s Hospital.


Chinese New Year Celebration at Central City

Feb. 1, 12 p.m. | Central City Shopping Centre 10153 King George Blvd.

Tickets and info:

Tickets to the 2014 Chinese New Year Gala Celebration at the Bell Performing Arts Centre in Surrey are all sold out, so folks without a seat who want to get in on the Lunar New Year spirit should consider heading to Central City Shopping Centre. The family-friendly event includes lion dances, money god greetings, a magician, Chinese pottery, calligraphy performances and Chinese flour doll making demos. Performances by Central City Model Search winners, Miss World Canada Delegates, the Fresh Groove Dance Group and a Chinese instrument music trio will round out the celebrations.


Chinese New Year Flower and Gift Fair at Aberdeen

Jan. 24 to Feb. 2, times vary | Aberdeen Centre, 4151 Hazelbridge Way

Tickets and info:

Eight days of sales at the mall’s annual Chinese New Year Flower and Gift Fair — expanded from the first floor to all three floors this year — usher in the Lunar New Year celebrations at Aberdeen. The centre has celebrated the New Year since 1989 and festivities this year include blessings from the Chinese God of Fortune, a live countdown with Fairchild Television, a golden dragon and lion dance, and performances by the Richmond’s Zhong Yang Music Academy, the Vancouver Academy of Dance, the Vancouver Cantonese Opera, the B.C. Chinese Music Association and the Colours of Dance Academy


Lunar New Year at Willowbrook

Feb. 2, 11 a.m. | Willowbrook Shopping Centre, 19705 Fraser Highway

Tickets and info:

Lunar New Year events run all day, including Chinese astrology readings by Feng Shui master Marlyna Los, and classes on making origami and hanging Chinese lanterns. Learn about dragon boating, check out a traditional lion dance, an eye-dotting ceremony, and a Tai Chi demonstration. From Jan. 31 to Feb. 6, eligible shoppers can get a lucky red envelope.


Chinese New Year at YVR

Jan. 31, 10 a.m. | Vancouver International Airport

Tickets and info:

Heading out of town just before the Lunar New Year arrives? No problem — on your way out of town, catch the celebrations at YVR, centred around The Spirit of Haida Gwaii sculpture. There will be music, calligraphy demonstrations, fortune telling and a lion dance to bring good luck to the airport.

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