Lunar New Year goes by many names around the world: it’s also known as Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, and Vietnam calls their Lunar New Year celebration Tet. This festival, which begins every year on the new moon between January 21st and February 20th, celebrates good fortune, kinship, and a bountiful harvest.
This year, Lunar New Year begins on Friday, February 12th. 2021’s Lunar New Year ushers in the Year of the Ox, an animal that symbolizes hard work, duty, and discipline. After a year like the last one, the Metal Ox gives us hope that 2021 will be marked by positive change and growth.
In a typical year, the two-week-long celebration would feature lantern-lit dragon dances, shared feasts, and an exchange of gifts. This past year has been anything but typical, though. This traditionally collective holiday is adapting to the paradigm shift necessitated by the ongoing pandemic.
In 2021, Metro Vancouver’s resilient Chinese community has found ways to keep the celebrations going from the comfort and safety of our homes.
Lunar New Year Celebrations Around Metro Vancouver
Though the pandemic looms large over the festival, technology has made it easier than ever to keep our spirits going, thanks to responsible celebrations that have moved online. Loved ones are only a video call away, and we can still come together virtually to partake in festivities that fuel the feel-good factor!
Vancouver Chinatown Digital Party
Virtual celebrations are in full force this week, with Vancouver Chinatown bringing their Lunar New Year Party to the digital realm. This wholesome family event will feature traditional lion dancing and kung fu demonstrations, this time choreographed specifically for an online audience. Gather your loved ones on the party’s Zoom call to celebrate with this event organized by Chinatown Today with support from the City of Vancouver.
Vancouver Cantonese Opera
Even in these unprecedented times, community spirit prevails, and the Vancouver Cantonese Opera has found the perfect way to celebrate Lunar New Year. The opera house’s virtual event will ring in the Year of the Ox in both English and Chinese languages, with a short opera titled “The Legend of the Red Peony” and an interactive sing-along both on the menu.
LunarFest DIY Virtual Workshop
LunarFest has prepared a series of DIY virtual workshops that keep both the young and the young at heart entertained from the comfort of your own home. Bring your living space to life this week with knitted tangerines, crafts, decorations, and board games.
Richmond Library Calling All Poets
Unleash your inner poet and join the Richmond Library’s Chinese Couplets writing contest dedicated to the Spring Festival. They’ve supplied the second line—you just have to write the first! The deadline is February 26th, so you’ve got a few weeks to submit.
Red Lanterns Installation by PLAY CNV
If you’re taking an evening stroll in Lower Lonsdale, the Living Lane between 100 and 130 Lonsdale Ave is decked out with festive, glowing red lanterns. The decorated pocket plaza curated by PLAY breathes life into the streets every season.