The vibrant tapestry of Lunar New Year celebrations in Greater Vancouver reflects the rich cultural mosaic of our community. This festive occasion is observed by various Asian cultures, including but not limited to, China, Korea, and Vietnam. To help you make the most of this festive season, we've curated a list of events, fundraisers, and personal traditions from our staff.
Personal traditions from OXD
Amanda Chan, Intermediate UX Designer
“My family traditions are simple: visiting family, having dinner, and giving ‘New Year’s money’. I love eating sweets and my family makes our own nian gao (年糕), a sticky rice cake. We like using this recipe for a baked version, less traditional but just as tasty. All the food and traditions have meaning, including nian gao, meaning ‘high’ or ‘tall’. This represents a wish for things to get higher or better each year.”
Where to get nian gao:
- Mardy’s Kitchen, Burnaby
- T&T Supermarket, Locations around Metro vancouver
- Maxim’s Bakery and Restaurant, ChinatownOr make your own with these recipes from Emma Choo, @VancouverFoodie or the Baked Coconut Sticky Rice Cake from Christine’s Recipes.
Min Ji Choi, Frontend Developer
“Celebrating Korean Seollal (설날) for me includes visiting my family and having a traditional meal together. The meal will include Tteokguk (떡국), a rice cake soup, and fresh mandoo (만두) (Korean dumplings) that we make together as a family the same day. When we have larger family gatherings, we play a Korean board game called Yutnori (윷놀이). Here’s a link to a free printable template for a modernized version of the game with English labels and instructions. And we also give out sebaetdon (세뱃돈), which is New Year’s money.”
Where to get Tteoguk:
- Myung Ga Mandu, Coquitlam
- Hannam Supermarket is selling a tteoguk meal kit along with other special items exclusively for Lunar New Year. You can purchase it online.
- Or, try making your own with these highly rated recipes from Maangchi, Drive Me Hungry, or BCLIQUOR.
You can go to the Visit Korea website to learn more about Seollal traditions.
Events around town
Spring Festival Parade in Chinatown
Organizers of the Chinatown Spring Festival Parade have confirmed the festivities and 50th annual parade will be held on Sunday, February 11. The free event is supported by the Chinese Benevolent Association of Vancouver, Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Vancouver, Vancouver Chinatown Merchants Association, S.U.C.C.E.S.S., Chinese Freemasons Vancouver Branch, and Shon Yee Benevolent Association of Canada. Check their website as more information comes in.
LunarFest around Vancouver
This year's theme is “born to be free”, suggesting that the “most meaningful way to welcome the Year of the Dragon is for everyone to reimagine a free-flying dragon, soaring through a world where everyone can truly be themselves.” You can find Lunarfest Vancouver celebrations at the following locations:
- šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énk Square, 750 Hornby St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2H7
- Pendulum Gallery, 885 W Georgia St, Vancouver, BC V6C 2G2
- Granville Island, Ocean Artworks Pavilion, 1531 Johnston St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3R9
- Orpheum, 601 Smithe St, Vancouver, BC V6B 5G1
Get updates of LunarFest events and dates on their website.
Lunar New Year fundraiser for the Vietnam Education Society
The Vietnam Education Society is hosting a special Lunar New Year Fundraiser at Floata Seafood Restaurant. Your ticket includes delightful food, cultural performances, and activities while supporting students and their education opportunities in Vietnam. Get tickets through Eventbrite.
Golden Maple Lunar New Year Gala
On January 27th, after a four-year hiatus, the event promises to deliver a “visual and auditory feast”. Experience performances, festivities, games, and crafts. The event is at the Great Canadian Casino Vancouver in Coquitlam. Get tickets on Eventbrite.
Year of the Dragon Celebration
Visit the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden on Sunday, February 11th to enjoy vibrant performances including the Lion and Tai Chi Fan Dance, tea ceremonies, and traditional foods. There will also be storytelling and calligraphy, and guests can make wishes beneath the Wishing Tree. Visit the website to learn more and get tickets.
Lunar New Year 2024 events at VPL
The Vancouver Public Library is hosting events at many of the library locations, including a puppet show, family story times, and traditional celebrations. Visit their events page for more information.
UBC’s Lunar New Year 2024 Market
The University of British Columbia Botanical Garden is hosting a Lunar New Year market, February 3-4 from 10 am to 4 pm. Performances, sweet dumplings, and workshops are included in the ticket price. Visitors can also purchase fresh flowers and visit the many local vendors and food trucks onsite.
Learning and commemorating
For the coin collectors
Head to the Canada Post website to purchase their special pure silver coin. Designed by Canadian artist Aries Cheung, the 2024 Lunar Year of the Dragon is represented by a graceful dragon against the sky, along with the good fortune symbols of a plum blossom branch and a celebratory lantern.
If you’re looking to really gilt your coin collection, they also offer a pure gold option, but it comes with a much heftier price tag of course!
Teach youth about Korean New Year
Author and illustrator Aram Kim created “Tomorrow Is New Year's Day”, a book on how to celebrate Seollal, a Korean celebration of the Lunar New Year.
What to eat, and where…
Notch8 at the Fairmont Hotel is offering two Lunar New Year options for 2024: join them for afternoon tea or visit the moonlit lounge for specialty cocktails, dim sum, and other traditional delights.
The East Van Dumpling Fest Crawl, part of Dine out Vancouver, is a great way to try many different dumplings from Chinese dumplings, to Northern Vietnamese dumplings, and Nepalese momos to Mexican tamales! Get more info on the Dine Out website.
For more tasty options, Inside Vancouver has put together a comprehensive list of restaurants celebrating Lunar New Year with traditional eats and special meals.
A festive time to come together
At OXD, we celebrate the many diverse cultures among our staff. We’re grateful to be able to participate in Lunar New Year festivities with our coworkers, friends, and community. And of course… eat all the food together. If we missed something, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.