Everything you need to know about celebrating Lunar New Year in Vancouver in 2023

Community celebrations and parades to welcome the Year of the Rabbit

The Lunar New Year is taking place on Jan. 22 in 2023 and there are many celebrations happening in and around Vancouver, B.C., over the Jan. 21-22 weekend | Photo: Lunar New Year Festival/Facebook

Though the world has already shifted into a new calendar year, other calendars are yet to celebrate. 

The Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, marks the beginning of a new year on the traditional lunisolar calendar, and is celebrated not only by people in and from China, but also Vietnam, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, Philippines, and Indonesia. 

According to the Chinese zodiac cycle, 2023 is the year of the Rabbit (specifically the Water Rabbit) which is a symbol of longevity, peace, and prosperity. 

This year, Lunar New Year's Day falls on a Sunday (Jan. 22) and many will be celebrating over the weekend. 

While some may want to celebrate the new year with friends and family, there will also be events held in and around Vancouver for the community to gather and commemorate together. Several restaurants across Metro Vancouver will also have special menus and dishes created to bring prosperity and good health for the year ahead.

Lunar New Year events in Vancouver 

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden

Vancouver's Chinatown neighbourhood will be lively over the Chinese New Year weekend.

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden will hold two days of celebrations, including a Lion Dance, Guzheng (a Chinese plucked zither; a musical instrument made of a flat wooden sound box with numerous strings stretched across), tea ceremonies, calligraphy, traditional foods, and more.

Attendees will also see the premiere of the brand new Billion Buns Exhibition by Chairman Ting.

Chinatown Spring Festival Parade

Chinatown will also see the return of the annual Spring Festival Parade after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The parade will take place on Jan. 22 at 11 a.m. and onlookers can watch dragon and lion dancers and other performers promenade through the streets. There will be multiple road closures in the neighbourhood as well. 

LunarFest and The Lantern City 

This year's LunarFest festivities will be held at at šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énḵ Square at the Vancouver Art Gallery and at Ocean Art Works on Granville Island, along with additional celebrations at Jack Poole Plaza, West End Robson and the Orpheum.

The Lantern City and LunarFest will pop up on different dates at each location. 

The Vancouver Art Gallery will see The Lantern City from Jan. 20 to Feb. 7 and LunarFest from Jan. 21 to Jan. 22. 

Granville Island will see The Lantern City from Jan. 20 to Feb. 20 and LunarFest from Jan. 21 to Feb. 20.

Lunar New Year events around Metro Vancouver 

Those wanting to wander out of the city can find other Lunar New Year celebrations across the Lower Mainland. 

Metrotown Lunar New Year

The huge shopping centre is hosting a variety of workshops, from calligraphy to paper cutting. There will also be dance performances (every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday), a Lion Dance (Jan. 25 at 10 a.m.), a spot to take photos with Tsai Shen Yeh, the God of Wealth, tasting of Chinese cuisine, and many festive decorations. 

The festivities will take place from Jan. 22 to Feb. 5.


Aberdeen Centre will be holding its annual 10-day Chinese New Year Flower and Gift Fair from Jan. 13 to Jan. 22.

A self-guided tour of Richmond's dumpling trail is another way to get into the Lunar New Year spirit.

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