It’s time to get festive! It’s the year of the Rabbit (兔), the fourth year in the 12-year Chinese zodiac cycle. The rabbit is the luckiest of all the zodiac animals (but maybe don’t spend all your money on lottery tickets just yet!) To help celebrate the Lunar New Year (also Chinese New Year) that starts on January 22, we’ve put together a few ways for Vancouver area residents to enjoy local festivities, learn about traditions, and of course, eat their way into 2023.
How to celebrate
Chinatown New Year Parade
The Lunar New Year is a big part of Vancouver’s culture and history. The first Chinese New Year Parade in Vancouver was held in Chinatown in 1973, and it’s now an annual tradition organized by the Chinese Cultural Centre. After a two-year hiatus, the 48th Vancouver Chinatown Celebration returns and will be held on January 22. The festivities include family-friendly activities, live entertainment, cultural dance troupes, marching bands, martial arts performances, and traditional lion dance teams.
Want to get involved? Local organization S.U.C.C.E.S.S. is in need of 200 parade day volunteers.
Lunarfest Vancouver celebrations will be held January 21-22 at šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énk Square (Vancouver Art Gallery North Plaza). You can also join LunarFest at the Ocean Art Works pavilion for workshops and exhibitions, crafts, music, and performances from the diverse communities that make up Vancouver. Find a list of all the LunarFest events and dates on their website.
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
On January 21st and 22nd, the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden is honouring Lunar New Year with a variety of performances, arts and crafts, and delicious food. Check out the opening of an exhibition by Chairman Ting while visiting. You can buy your tickets online with all proceeds going toward the ongoing support of their seniors and educational programs, and garden conservation projects.
How to celebrate… with food.
A.Bento 飯匠 is offering limited Rabbit Gift boxes that are available now until January 20 for pre-order. Choose from three boxes or a combination of them, including yummy treats like candies and homemade sauces, or a meal box that has fish, pork, and rice dishes.
“Hike” the Dumpling Trail, (no, it’s not literally a hiking trail filled with dumplings), but enjoy your way through one—some—or all—of the restaurants participating along the trail. Richmond BC Tourism has put together an awesome resource including a trail map and pre-planned itineraries, like Hidden Gems, to take out the guesswork.
Celebrate at home by taking a virtual Lunar New Year cooking class or picking up ingredients to make your own hot pot or traditional dishes like glutinous rice cake. Feeling less-adventurous? You can pick up pre-made frozen dim sum and dumplings in Chinatown or from most supermarkets. You can also order party platters from restaurants like Western Lake.
Check our our 2022 article for more restaurant and food options.
Let’s “hop” into 2023, together.
We want to wish everyone prosperity and good fortune throughout this Lunar New Year.