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Happy Chinese New Year (Lunar New Year/Spring Festival) – CNY celebrations in Metro Vancouver
When is Chinese New Year in Metro Vancouver for 2021?
Little New Year (CNY Preparations) – February 4, 2021 – February 11, 2021
Start – February 12, 2021
Lantern Festival – February 23, 2021 – February 26, 2021
End – February 26, 2021
When was Chinese New Year in Metro Vancouver for 2020?
Little New Year (CNY Preparations) – January 17, 2020 – January 24, 2020
Start – January 25, 2020
Lantern Festival – February 5, 2020 – February 8, 2020
End – February 8, 2020
Much like the Hebrew New Year, the Chinese New Year (often referred to as Spring Festival in China) follows the lunar calendar (times and festivals are based on the moon – Psalms 104:19, Genesis 1:14) than the Georgian calendar.
The Jewish ethnicity recently celebrated their new year (Rosh Hashanah – ‘Head of the Year’) on September 29, 2019 to October 1st for year 5780. The Chinese ethnicity will have their new year celebration from January 25, 2020 to February 8th for the year 4718.
What is Chinese New Year?
Chinese New Year as its name implies is the celebration of the beginning of a New Year by Chinese tradition; it follows the lunar calendar (timing of festivals/seasons by the moon – as such the days of Spring Festival in the Georgian Calendar varies yearly, but generally around January 21st to February 21st) and is also known as the lunar new year.
When China adopted the the Georgian Calendar in 1911, Chinese New Year in China is now often referred to as the Spring Festival. The celebratory practices and culture remains the same however; Chinese New Year is also the most significant holiday in China.
How is Chinese New Year Celebrated?
There are many regular customs and traditions to celebrating Chinese New Year. Many of these follow wishes, hope, and projecting for a prosperous, healthy, and good year.
Among them include:
(1) Reunion dinners – Dinner with the entire family including extended family is fairly common celebration for Chinese New Year. In China, migrant workers often return home for reunion dinner while it is common in various countries with ethnic-Chinese families with families who may have migrated abroad to return to said country from which they migrated for a reunion dinner with family.
One part of Chinese New Year is reunion dinners and gathering with family. It’s customary practice to visit the husband’s family first and then the wife’s family the next day during Chinese New Year. Meeting your distant uncle or aunt during Chinese New Year is sure to come some uncomfortable conversations, much like Thanksgiving for Americans and Canadians.
(2) Fireworks/Fire crackers & Lion Dance – Fireworks and firecrackers are common sight in Chinese New Year celebrations (less so with legal restrictions in modern times) along with the Lion dance.
(3) Hongbao (red packets) & Colour Red – Giving red envelops are common practice among Chinese New Year celebrations. They carry a symbolic purpose of giving wealth or luck to others; commonly done by the elders or married to the young or unmarried individuals in the family. The colour red is also highly favoured as a lucky colour that wards away bad things. This comes in part with oriental religious mythology but also symbolic practice. The money inside should be a ‘lucky number’. (Think of it like a Bar Mitzvah where the elders given the child money – except this happens every year and not quite the same substantial amount as a Bar Mitzvah, but it would generally accumulate over years of receiving. The smart children will put the Hong Bao money – which can be quite substantial, especially those from rich relatives and grandparents – to investment or savings to start their future as many do with Bar Mitzvah money of turning an adult. The thing is, once you become married or aged – it’s your turn to give money to children and unmarried. Haha.)
(4) Avoiding Taboos – There are several taboos to avoid such as wearing black or white cloths, broken clothes, or talking words with negative connotations (like death, sickness, crying, or arguments) during Chinese New Year. These are often for the same reasons Chinese have auspicious practices – symbolism or homonyms.
(5) Following Auspicious Practices – Children are allow to stay up as late as they can on Chinese New Year Eve because it is symbolic of a long life for their parents. Many other such symbolic practices are observed that pertain to wish for a sweet, prosperous, healthy, successful, unity, peaceful year.
What you need to know about Chinese New Year?
- Many Chinese New Year Customs for a Good Year Ahead: There are many customary superstitious dos and don’ts during Chinese New Year if you want a good year ahead of you. (While many Chinese today don’t believe or observe some of these quasi-religious/culture practices – one of them is you’re not allow to wash your hair for the first day. Yikes! Haha – many are still observed casually & culturally popular customs like reunion dinners with specific foods <Long noodles for length of days. Dumplings for prosperity.> Further, some of these customs are found with oriental religious background – like not washing clothes the first two days of CNY because of the ‘water god’ birthday being the first two days of CNY… while some others with symbolic rationale – such as, not washing your hair during the first day of CNY. This is because hair is pronounced ‘fa’ in Chinese, which is homonyms with ‘rich’; so washing your hair is seen as washing away wealth.)
- Chinese apply symbolism in many Chinese New Year practices: Much like how the Jews celebrate their New Year, Chinese attach a lot of symbolism and enactment (for a lack of a better word) to celebrating their New Year. These include practices such as speaking a blessing and giving red packets with (lucky number of) money inside, or eating foods that are homonyms or symbolism of prosperity & unity (such as dumplings or rice balls). As such it’s common to wish each other blessings such as good health, prosperity, a high year, and fertility (HAHA) in Chinese greetings. (Practically speaking these practices are beneficial for focusing on the right things and creating hope, leading to the potential for faith.)
- The start of the New Year determines your year ahead: Also similar to the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah), Chinese believe that the start of the year – and what you do then – will determine how the rest of your year will be. Much like sealing your year ahead with goodness. Therefore, extra care is given to how you start the year; starting the year on a right foot, as westerners may put it. <In a sense, just as the Jews believe that their fate for the year is sealed during the start of the year – so do the Chinese in various practices. “From noon on Rosh Hashanah, when our fates are already written, until Yom Kippur, when our fates for the coming year are to be sealed, we wish each other “Gemar chatimah tovah” (גמר חתימה טובה), “A good final sealing.” (Note that it is not standard to wish someone a “happy Yom Kippur,” but it is perfectly acceptable to wish them a meaningful one.)” – Chabad>
- Times have changed and so does cultural observance: Many Chinese today do not take the superstitious or traditions of Chinese New Year as seriously as ancient days but they still follow many customs and traditions such as reunion dinners and importantly the red packets known as ‘hongbao’ – perhaps more so for the fun and family/friends than superstitions. Chinese New Year is a big holiday for Chinese. (It is also very tiring and quite an anticipated time with a lot of intentional preparation before hand.) China adopted the Georgian Calendar in 1911 and celebrate the New Year on January 1st as do most countries in the world today. While Chinese New Year is still a significant holiday with the lunar calendar, the observance has changed from one that is filled with traditions, taboos, and traits to a more casual observance.
- Chinese New Year Changes Annually: Chinese New Year lasts for 15 days (11 days + 4 Lantern Festival), with 8 days of the Little Year preceding for a total of 23 days celebration; this 15 days celebration falls between January 21st to February 21st – depending on when the new moon is. Another similarity to the Jewish New Year is that CNY doesn’t actually start on the 1st day of the 1st month of the Chinese Calendar as you might expect. The Jewish New Year begins on the 7th month of the Hebrew calendar; Chinese New Year falls on the 23rd day of the 12th lunar month of the Chinese Calendar. (Yeah seems our cultures like to make things confusing.) With the popular culture of Chinese astrology and zodiacs, it is probably no surprise to many Canadians today that each year represents a different zodiac animal for Chinese New Year celebrations. There are 12 zodiac animals (which previously were just 12 zodiac, the animals were applied later to make it more memorable). 2019 was the Boar, 2020 is the Rat, 2021 will be the Ox, 2022 will be the Tiger, 2023 will be the Rabbit, 2024 will be the Dragon, 2025 will be the Snake, 2026 will be the Horse, 2027 will be the Ram/Sheep, 2028 will be the Monkey, 2029 will be the Rooster, 2030 will be the Dog – and then it repeats. Chinese tradition has it that every time it is your year, is often a year you need to be careful as it is a pivotal year. <Another fun fact is that ancient Chinese don’t just rely on the moon for times, festivals, seasons, and holidays but the sun’s longitude as well.>
(Side Tangent: I don’t personally believe in zodiacs but it’s interesting to learn its cultural significance and history; if zodiacs and astrologies are true then it stands to reason that everyone born in a certain year or in a certain time of year will be behave relatively the same with similar behavioral traits – which is not clearly always the case (with some exceptions). I think zodiacs and astrology comes from human desire to understand and categorize people into box for processing/simplifying our understanding. There are some truths to astrology/zodiac but it requires careful consideration. It seems to be confirmation bias when people say “I’m an Aries so I am…” or “I am X so I am stubborn” while also self-fulfilling, for as a man thinks in his heart so is he. Anecdotally, I personally find my characteristic match various zodiac animals than just one. Sorry, I also don’t believe in fortune telling but acknowledge there are some mystic truths to it; but I believe you can create your own fortune by your decisions, so choose wisely. You’re more in control of your future than what others tell you it will be. There is a destiny/purpose in some things however, like where or when you were born. Ecclesiastes 3. Life is complex.)
You can enjoy in the fun festivities and excitement of celebrating Chinese New Year even if you’re not Chinese! It’s always fun to learn about other cultures and be involved in their celebrations and festivals (especially those with meaning and lessons behind them).
Everyone can enjoy the excitement, energy, and enhanced colours of Chinese New Year! It’s a very interesting time and culture (especially celebrated in Vancouver). Cultural exploration and learning is always good to breed understanding and harmony among various ethnicity.
Chinese New Year Cultural Customs – Dos & Don’ts:
There are countless taboos and encouraged practices during the Chinese New Year period… some relatively outdated (and ignored) like not washing your hair for the first week. (Not to was away good luck ?) Here are five popular customs observed during Chinese New Year to bring good, and five popular things to avoid during Chinese New Year.
Good things you should do during Chinese New Year:
(1) Eating Auspicious Foods – The practice of eating auspicious foods that either symbolize or are homonyms for prosperity, unity or something desirable. The most common is dumplings because they are shaped like gold ingots. Rice balls are also common for homonym with unity. Long wheat noodles for length of life. ‘Nian Gao’ which is a sweet rice cake for it’s homonym of meaning a ‘high year’ or a elevated year. Common also is ‘Fa Gao’ which is a sponge cake; ‘fa’ means to be rich. In preparation for CNY, make sure your rice bowl is full for symbolic purposes as well.
In Singapore and many places of South East Asia, a dish call Yu Sheng is common place in Chinese New Year gathering. A variety of auspicious and colourful vegetables topped with a sweet & savoury sauce and raw fish (like salmon). It is then tossed and mixed together with the family/group while speaking auspicious words and blessings
(2) Giving Auspicious Foods – When you visit relatives/elders homes you often bring with you oranges or tangerines as they are homonyms to auspicious words such as gold or wealth; so it is good symbolism giving them when visiting someone’s home.
Often the children will give grandparents these tangerines or oranges with Chinese New Year wishes like ‘xin nian kuai le’ or ‘gong xi fa cai’
(3) Giving or Receiving Red Packets – So the custom to this is elders giving children red packets filled with money (auspicious number) as a means of transferring wealth to the younger generation and luck. This is also done for those who are married to unmarried individuals.
(4) The Colour Red – You see a common theme with Chinese New Year decorations is many are coloured red. It’s a lucky colour and supposedly ward off ‘evil’ (which funnily, as a Christian I think it in relation to the blood of Jesus that was shed for the forgiveness of sins for men, and also supposedly ‘scares off evil’)
(5) Speaking/Writing Good Words & Blessings – Chinese believe in the importance of words and often speaking good words and blessings during the start of the year in their New Year wishes such as good health or riches. This is also written on red banners that are hung (because red is a lucky colour). As mentioned, the start of the year is believed to be important in determining the rest of your year so extra attention is provided to avoiding speaking or talking about bad things and instead speaking good things/blessings. This practice is especially true with eating Yu Sheng which is a cultural practice specifically in Singaporean Chinese (and South East Asian Chinese – but not in China) with throwing the raw fish salad high in the air while speaking various well wishes and blessings.
Things you should avoid during Chinese New Year:
(1) Cutting your hair during Chinese New Year – During Chinese New Year, those observant to these superstitious or symbolic practices will avoid cutting their hair for the new year period. (It’s customary not to cut your hair until the next lunar month – and why I recently went to my hair dresser to have my hair cut shorter than usual. Haha.) Many salons in China are often closed during Chinese New Year for this reason (many people won’t get their haircut during Chinese New Year but do so in preparation for Chinese New Year)
It is also bad luck to touch any sharp object or break any ceramics during Chinese New Year period for similar reasons to those above.
(2) No Sweeping/Cleaning Your House or Throwing Garbage – It is thought that sweeping your house during the new year will sweep away good luck. As such, many families often conduct a full and throughout spring cleaning before Chinese New Year as you cannot do any cleaning or sweeping during the Chinese New Year period (and it’s long – 15 days!). You can only throw garbage after the 5th day of Chinese New Year.
Please do not leave your home a mess to observe this.
(3) Talking about death, or going to the hospital – As mentioned above, Chinese believe the start of your year will determine how your year ahead will be. As such, celebration of Chinese New Year generally involves careful attention to avoiding anything of negative connotation; this includes saying ‘unlucky’ words like death or sickness as well as argument or strife. Even children crying is not ideal. Likewise, it’s good to avoid going to the doctor if possible – the believe any of these practices mean there’ll be crying, sickness, or death throughout the year.
Of course, if you’re sick you should seek a medical professional than obeying superstitious.
(4) Wearing Wrong Clothes – During Chinese New Year, your apparel can matter. You want to avoid wearing white or black as these are often colours associated with funerals. Red is a good lucky colour to wear! It is also unlucky to wear clothes with tears or damage (so those new ripped jeans fashion clothes are a no-no. Haha)
As you will notice, preparation is taken before Chinese New Year to ensure these auspicious practices are observed and taboos avoided; it is common for people to buy new clothes before Chinese New Year. Now if you really want to shock your relatives and come across as a really ‘gungho’ and ‘lucky’ person, you may as well visit your relatives wearing a red Cheongsam/Qibao or Tang Suit with red shoes and red socks! (nobody does that – if you do so, you may be able to shift some of the awkward/uncomfortable questions from uncles and aunts to your clothing instead!) …but all the normal people will be wearing modern clothes with auspicious colours as they do today!
(5) Washing clothes or hair during the first two days of Chinese New Year – Perhaps one uncomfortable taboo (which is seldom observed today and has oriental religious roots) is the practice not to wash your hair, take a shower, or wash your clothes for the first two days of Chinese New Year. The rationale to this as alluded earlier is the believe that the first two years of Chinese New Year is the “water god”.
The other reason for it is symbolic also, as washing your hair or showering is thought to wash away good luck so this is avoided for the first day of Chinese New Year – please observe good personal hygiene.
Chinese New Year Activities in Metro Vancouver for year 2020:
City of Vancouver – Chinatown: The premier Chinese New Year event in Metro Vancouver, the Chinatown Chinese New Year Parade is an annual event and a sight to truly be appreciated with a marching. Besides the many CNY shopping opportunities, the parade is extravagant with many local organizations marching and politicians all giving out ‘red packets’ with candy. There is of course an extravagant lion dance in the parade with fire crackers (at least in 2019). One of the best part is the Vancouver Police Department float/contingent, this year with the motorcycle drill team. There are also parade float/contingent with the Canadian Forces military and their equipment. (Quite a sight to see.)
Where – Vancouver Chinatown (You can’t miss it! There’ll be rows and rows of crowds along the road of the parade path)
When – January 26th @ 11 AM
More Information – https://www.cbavancouver.ca/
City of Richmond – Aberdeen Centre: If you can’t make it to City of Vancouver’s Chinatown celebrations on Chinese New Year, the next best alternative is Aberdeen Mall. Besides a lion dance and various cultural performances in the mall, there are also special Chinese New Year booths set up with various Chinese New Year trinkets, floral, and food unique to CNY to be purchased! If you’re looking for a Chinese New Year activity to appreciate and experience, the Aberdeen Centre is one you should consider. The celebration begins at 8:30 PM on January 24th as the countdown to CNY begins with a variety of performance and activities in the centre atrium with a stage; the mall is having extended hours and closes at 12:30 AM on the 25th of January. The Chinese New Year celebrations continue on the 25th; the lion dance occurs on January 25th at 11 AM followed by various Chinese cultural performances till 4:30 PM. It continues with more performance on the 26th. Further adding all this, the whole mall is decorated with Chinese New Year decor.
Where – Aberdeen Centre (Richmond)
When – January 25th @ 11 AM
More Information – https://www.aberdeencentre.com/en/events.php
City of Richmond – Yaohan Centre: Yaohan Centre is a popular Chinese-orientated shopping centre in Richmond, BC with plentiful Chinese food at the food court and an Osaka Market operated by T&T. Predictably, you an expect Yaohan Centre to be hosting some Chinese New Year festivities and they are. The pop-up booths for Chinese New Year has already been set up along the concourse with a flower market and festive red decorations of all sorts along with Chinese New Year specific sweets and pastries. They will be having a lion dance on January 25th, 2020 in front of Osaka Market, however their website does not provide the time for the event. It’s worth popping by Yaohan Centre if you’re visiting Aberdeen Centre, if anything for the food court. (good bubble tea & Chinese mix rice)
Where – Yaohan Centre (Richmond)
When – January 25th
More Information – https://www.yaohancentre.com/news.html
City of Richmond – Lansdowne Mall: Lansdowne Mall is a popular mall for Chinese in competition with Richmond Centre; the mall isn’t as crowded of festive as Aberdeen Centre or Richmond Centre but still holds a respectable Chinese New Year celebration hosted in part by the Richmond Chinese Community Society. Celebrations take place on the 26th from 11 AM to 5 PM with the lion dance at 12:30 PM.
Where – Lansdowne Mall (Richmond)
When – January 26th @ 11 AM to 5 PM
More Information – https://lansdowne-centre.com/lunar-new-year-celebration/
City of Vancouver – Lunar Fest: The Tourism Vancouver and Tourism Richmond organizations are putting together several locations of Lunar New Year celebratory activites including laterns at Jack Poole Plaza by Vancouver Convention Centre as well as a presentation at Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Some venues are active throughout the Lunar New Year period while other activities and events happen at various days during the Lunar New Year. Learn more about it at the link bellow.
Where – Various Locations
When – January 15th to February 10
More Information – https://lunarfest.org/bc/
Evidently most of the BEST Chinese New Year activities you ought to attend are occurring either in Vancouver Chinatown or City of Richmond. There are still many Chinese New Year celebrations for 2020 across Metro Vancouver commonly hosted by neighborhood/community associations, business improvement associations, or shopping centres.
City of Vancouver – Marpole Village (BIA): Hosted by the Marpole Village business improvement association is a Chinese New Year celebration on January 30th at 11 AM with a lion dance along Granville Street.
More Information – http://marpolevillage.ca/event/celebrate-the-2020-chinese-new-year-of-the-rat-in-marpole/
City of Vancouver – River District: Chinese New Year event is being hosted at River District on January 25th from 11 AM with a lion dance and Chinese New Year themed wine tasting at Everything Wine along with a variety of complementary refreshments. River District is a new community in City of Vancouver that is still developing; according to the website, they may be using images taken at the event for Wesgroup promotional materials.
More Information – https://riverdistrict.ca/events/
City of Vancouver – UBC/Wesbrook Village: Wesbrook Village Community Centre in the UNA (University Neighbourhood Assication) will be having Chinese New Year celebration and events from 2 PM to 4 PM if you happen to be at UBC on Chinese New Year. The Chinese Language Program will also be hosting Chinese New Year celebration at the Student Union Building (NEST) on January 28th from 11 AM to 3 PM.
More Information – https://www.myuna.ca/event/lunar-new-year-celebration/
City of Burnaby – Burnaby Heights: The Burnaby Heights community will be hosting a Chinese New Year Celebration on February 1st, 2020 from 12 PM to 3 PM including a lion dance and giveaways.
More Information – http://www.burnabyheights.com/news/lunar-new-year/
City of Vancouver – International Village Shopping Centre: International Village is at the cusp of Vancouver Chinatown and will be abuzz with activity on January 26th for the Chinatown Chinese New Year Parade; however, besides this celebration on the 26th – the mall will also be hosting a variety of events from January 24th to January 26th if you want to get a taste of the festive feeling celebrating the year of the rat for Chinese New Year. A mall with predominantly Chinese retailers, the shopping centre is decorated for Chinese New Year with a performance stage in the centre for many culture performances in celebration of Chinese New Year. Be sure to pop by for a look if you’re in the area and wish to experience Chinese New Year at International Village Shopping Centre. Last year’s Chinese New Year celebration saw a large variety of performances and giveaways, unfortunately, this year’s Chinese New Year celebrations at International Village is more sparse with information available.
More Information – https://www.facebook.com/events/489729755151067/
City of North Vancouver – Lonsdale Quay: The Lonsdale Quay has a whole host of events planned for Chinese New Year. The Chinese New Year events will take place on February 1, 2020 from 1:30 PM to 3:45 PM with the lion dance taking place at 3:45 PM. It’s sure to be an exciting and family-friendly day at Lonsdale Quay overlooking to downtown Vancouver from across the Burrard Inlet.
More Information – https://lonsdalequay.com/event/chinese-new-year-at-the-market/
City of Richmond – Richmond Centre: Richmond Centre is having a Chinese New Year lion dance on January 26th at 11 AM to 6 PM.
More Information – https://www.facebook.com/events/541979309743044/
City of Vancouver – Pacific Centre: Pacific Centre is having a modest Chinese New Year celebration with a lion dance on January 31st at 3:30 PM to 6:00 PM. May as well mention it is sponsored by Purdy’s chocolates (Haha).
More Information – https://www.cfshops.com/pacific-centre/news-events/events/lunar-new-year-2020.html
City of Burnaby – Metropolis at Metrotown: Metrotown Mall will be having a host of events from January 24th to February 9th in celebration of Chinese New Year. A traditional lion dance will take place on January 29th at 10 AM.
More information – https://metropolisatmetrotown.com/en/events/lunar-new-year-celebrations-2020/
City of Burnaby – Crystal Mall: Crystal Mall which proclaims itself as the “Best Oriental Shopping Centre in Metro Vancouver” would reasonably be expected to host a Chinese New Year celebration despite being a mall with relatively fewer shoppers (comes with being a mall mainly hosting boutique retailers than anchor brands) to Metrotown. That they are however! Crystal Mall is hosting a CNY celebration on January 26th from 12 PM to 4 PM that includes a lion dance.
More information – http://www.thecrystalmall.ca/en/events.htm
City of Vancouver – Granville Island: Granville Island will be having a lion dance in the Public Market along with red envelops being given out on January 26th at 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM. It is sure to be a lively experience with the lion dance making its way through the market.
More information – https://granvilleisland.com/events/lunar-new-year-year-rat
City of Vancouver – Oakridge Shopping Centre: The main event took place before the start of Chinese New Year on January 23, 2010 at 6 PM to 9 PM. However, they will be having a kids interactive activity on January 25th from 12 Pm to 3 PM. (Doesn’t count as a Chinese New Year celebration without a dragon dance)
More Information – https://www.oakridgecentre.com/blog/lunar-celebrations-calendar/
City of Richmond – Richmond Cultural Centre: No lion dance but a free Chinese New Year performance at the Richmond Cultural Centre besides Richmond City Hall which features cantonese opera singers.
More Information – https://www.visitrichmondbc.com/event/chinese-new-year-concert-at-the-richmond-cultural-centre/4809/
City of Langley – Christian Life Assembly: This is one of the few Chinese New Year celebrations taking place in Langley. It is sponsored by the Township of Langley and it is a one-day Chinese New Year festival from 12 PM to 3 PM on January 25th. They will be having Chinese calligraphy, dumpling making, Chinese chess, crafts, and painting; admission is free.
More Information – https://www.eventbrite.com/e/langley-2020-chinese-new-year-fair-tickets-90425275433
City of Vancouver – PARQ Vancouver: Parq Vancouver in downtown Vancouver is hosting a lion dance and various Chinese New Year themed promotions at their dining establishments such as Honey Salt or Lotus Tea/Whiskey Lounge.
More Information – https://www.parqvancouver.com/events/parq-casino-lion-dance-at-parq-casino/ & https://www.parqvancouver.com/lunar-new-year/
City of Richmond – Vancouver International Airport: Travelers arriving or departing from YVR on Friday morning will be treated to a Chinese New Year lion dance performance that begins at 10 AM by the jade canoe at the food court besides trans-border check-ins, and ends at 12 PM making its way through the expansive airport terminal on the 24th of January.
More Information – https://www.richmond-news.com/community/chinese-new-year-s-eve-in-richmond-1.24060015
City of Richmond – Aberdeen Square: Not to be confused with Aberdeen Centre, Aberdeen Square is like the less popular sibling (kidding, they’re both owned/managed separately) with a connecting bridge to Aberdeen Canada Line Station as well as Aberdeen Centre. The mall is frequently quiet and empty however (largely hosting many travel agencies, education centres, and boutique Asian retailers). The Chinese New Year celebrations here are also relatively different, taking place from January 11 to 18th hosted by Mooby Yoho as a Chinese New Year Festival with free prizes. The event takes place in the building concourse.
More Information – https://www.facebook.com/events/aberdeen-square/2020-vancouver-lunar-new-year-carnival/3492807340759998/
City of Surrey – City Central Shopping Centre: Central City Shopping Centre will be celebrating Chinese New Year with a lion dance from 1 PM to 3 PM on January 25th along with “lucky envelopes” given to shoppers who spend $100+ in City Central Shopping Centre on the same day.
More Information – https://centralcity.ca/event/lion-dance-central-city/
City of Vancouver – Vancouver Art Gallery Lunar Fest: Tourism Vancouver and Tourism Richmond along with Tourism Taiwan are hosting several Chinese New Year activities across several venues the City of Vancouver. One of the key events is happening at Vancouver Art Gallery on January 25th to 26th from 11 AM to 6 PM.
More Information – https://lunarfest.org/2020lf/vancouver/
Paid Chinese New Year Celebrations in Vancouver:
Vancouver Airport Marriott Hotel: On January 26, 2020 from 11:30 AM to 2:45 PM, Vancouver Airport Marriott Hotel will be serving a special Chinese New Year brunch for $20.20. There will be a lion dance and traditional red envelops handed out with prizes up to $400. Shameless content plug that Vancouver Airport Marriott Hotel is one of the best Vancouver airport hotels.
More information – https://www.visitrichmondbc.com/event/lunar-new-year-brunch-and-lion-dance-at-the-vancouver-airport-marriott/4802/
City of Vancouver – Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden: Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden has an exciting line of activities planned for the celebration of Chinese New Year on January 26th. A lion dance is happening at 2:30 PM to 3:00 PM along with Erhu performance throughout the day with tea tastings and calligraphy demonstrations. Ticket to the garden is $13.33 for adults. You can also learn more about the history of Chinese New Year at the historical-orientated events at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden.
More Information – https://vancouverchinesegarden.com/temple-fair/
Chinese New Year in Vancouver:
Vancouver has a large population of Chinese ethnicity and permanent residents from China, as such, Chinese New Year is a fairly festive celebration in Vancouver. You’ll find many places decorated for Chinese New Year across Metro Vancouver but more so predominantly in Richmond, BC and Vancouver’s Chinatown!
It can be a fun cultural experience/exploration to stop by the many interesting shops in Chinatown or Richmond, BC to experience the excitement of Chinese New Year… even if you’re not Chinese.
Thanks for reading about Chinese New Year in Vancouver; we hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about Chinese New Year as we have enjoyed learning & writing about it.
Note: We’ve created this article about Chinese New Year and Chinese New Year activities in Metro Vancouver for the year 2020; the activities section will be updated annually to reflect the current year’s celebrations. The information above is not time-sensitive so will maintain as is. The resource article on Chinese New Year in Vancouver will be updated annually to reflect the new events annually.
More Resources: We have summarized the interesting information about Chinese New Year (Lunar New Year/Spring Festival) here for you along with celebrations of Chinese New Year taking place in Metro Vancouver. If you wish to read more about Chinese New Year, you can do so at the websites bellow which was used for compiling this article about Chinese New Year in Vancouver:
Metro Vancouver – 5 Things to Know about Metro Vancouver
If you’ve been in Vancouver for any length of time, you’ve probably heard the term “Metro Vancouver”… you might be wondering, what exactly is Metro Vancouver?
We’re here to share with you FIVE quick highlights that you might like to know about Metro Vancouver to give you a better understanding of the region you live in, relocating to, or are visiting. What is it? What do they do? Who’s involved? How do they operate? What’s some cool tips about Metro Vancouver?
5 Things to Know about Metro Vancouver:
1) Metro Vancouver is a federation of 21 municipalities, one Electoral Area, and one Treaty First Nation
Metro Vancouver is a federation of 21 municipalities, one Electoral Area, and one Treaty First Nation… these include (in order of population as of recent census):
Incorporated Cities in Metro Vancouver:
<1> Vancouver, BC – Population: 633,138
<2> Surrey, BC – Population: 518,078
<3> Burnaby, BC – Population: 232,755
<4> Richmond, BC – Population: 198,309
<5> Coquitlam, BC – Population: 139,338
<6> Township of Langley, BC – Population: 117,890
<7> Delta, BC – Population: 102,248
<8> North Vancouver District, BC – Population: 87,913
<9> Maple Ridge, BC – Population: 82,256
<10> New Westminster, BC – Population: 70,996
<11> Port Coquitlam, BC – Population: 58,612
<12> North Vancouver City, BC – Population: 53,474
<13> West Vancouver, BC – Population: 45,404
<14> Port Moody, BC – Population: 33,551
<15> Langley City, BC – Population: 25,888
<16> White Rock, BC – Population: 19,952
<17> Pitt Meadows, BC – Population: 18,835
<18> Anmore, BC – Population: 2,210
<19> Bowen Island, BC – Population: 3,680
<20> Lions Bay, BC – Population: 1,334
<21> Belcarra, BC – Population: 643
Electoral Area in Metro Vancouver:
<1> Electoral Area A – Population: 16,182 (Also known as UBC – University of British Columbia and the UEL – University Endowment Lands. Comprises of up-and-coming/newer/bustling residential villages like Wesbrook Village and University Village along with big waterfront houses adjacent to Point Grey neighbourhood. One thing to note that most property on UEL is leasehold than freehold.)
Treaty First Nation in Metro Vancouver:
<1> Tsawwassen First Nation – Population: 816 (Note, First Nations receive special privileges in Canada including exception from fishery laws as well as certain taxes.)
Total Population of Metro Vancouver Region:
All in all, this makes for 3,203,502 residents living in the Metro Vancouver region, that is rapidly growing. Many people immigrate to the East or middle of Canada where immigration laws are less stringent and then move to BC, after with the freedom of mobility charter. Note that PR and Citizenship process is a lengthy wait in Canada – except when Justin Trudeau invites illegal immigrants to come to Canada from US. (making the wait longer for legitimate applicants who followed due process)
2) Metro Vancouver works to make the region a better place with regional services.
3) Metro Vancouver is responsible for some local housing initiatives and regional parks.
4) Metro Vancouver leadership is comprised of elected officials from each municipality.
5) Metro Vancouver does some incredible work in the region beyond their official duties/purpose.
Metro Vancouver used in Colloquial terms:
Further, the term Metro Vancouver often refers to the greater Vancouver area much like the GTA. While it is an actual official governing body or corporate entity, in colloquial terms many local Vancouverites and Metro Vancouver residents refer to Metro Vancouver as the region around the City of Vancouver than the official definition of 22 municipalities, one Electoral Area, and one Treaty First Nations.
It is not uncommon for individuals to refer to Metro Vancouver as meaning Vancouver plus etc. as the City of Vancouver is like the anchor tenant in the region just as Toronto is often referred to for the region with suburb cities as Mississauga, Scarborough, Oakville, and Milton in its shadows. (Using metaphors of the East, as I know… and you will find, many Vancouverites are recovering Torontonians. LOL Joking. But #WestCoastBestCoast. Truthfully however, many Torontonians do move to Vancouver if you talk with locals in Vancouver.)
Each city is unique and important in its own especially with supporting affordable housing and space/land to raise children for families who work in the City of Vancouver. Especially useful to know, if you’re looking to relocate to the City of Vancouver but find the housing prices a little too scary for liking, you can look to real estate in Coquitlam, BC or even cheaper real estate in Port Coquitlam, BC… the region is very connected such that you can drive to downtown Vancouver in under an hour (much like getting from Santa Monica to DTLA) or take the public transit with the West Coast Express bringing you Downtown Vancouver in about 30 minutes from Port Coquitlam. Alternatively, the Metro Vancouver region has an extensive mass rapid transport system (known as the SkyTrain) that connects Downtown Vancouver south to Richmond and Vancouver International Airport or East towards Burnaby, New Westminister, Port Moody, and Coquitlam. As well as an Expo line to Surrey and towards SFU at Production Way-University. There are plans for expansion of the SkyTrain network to Langley and to UBC (University of British Columbia) which will further increase connectivity and unlock access to affordable housing in Langley, BC.
Most people are not referring to Bowen Island or Lions Bay (as cool as it sounds) when mentioning Metro Vancouver; locals refer to it like you might to the GTA for Toronto.
Looking for real estate in Metro Vancouver for relocating:
One of the biggest complaint about living or relocating to the City of Vancouver is affordability of housing (unless you want to rent – which rentals are relatively expensive as well compared to other cities in Canada, US, or Asia). You should expect to pay around $1650 to $2000 for a one bedroom apartment in City of Vancouver while Richmond has opportunities around $1400 to $1600 especially for some older buildings with one-bedroom rentals around $1000 to $1400. It’s often more recommendable to buy some real estate as prices tend to increase overtime with population growth and scarcity principles. Renting will simply help the landlord pay his/her mortgages while you are left with nothing of worth in regards to assets at the end. I would recommend renting in downtown regions and buying in suburbs.
If you’re looking to relocate to Metro Vancouver however, I would recommend taking a look at New Westminister Real Estate, it’s nestled between Burnaby and Port Moody/Coquitlam with some of the most under-valued real estate in the region. You would benefit from the connectivity and relative proximity to City of Vancouver with housing prices as low as 30% cheaper what you’ll find in City of Vancouver proper. Especially some older buildings in Port Coquitlam or New Westminister are VERY VERY affordable – but often not talked about for some reason. (Complaining is more fun I suppose.)
Anyways, we hope this might be some useful tips if you’re looking to relocate to the Metro Vancouver region. If you’re looking to work in City of Vancouver, do keep in mind that you can very comfortably, quickly, and even greenly (We’re Vancouver, we care about the environment with our pristine beauty of mountains and sea) commute to your work from many of these Metro Vancouver municipalities. Just keep in mind, you probably don’t want to be living in Surrey, BC. Lol
Further, some of these Metro Vancouver entities are not very accessible such as when you get out to Tsawwassen, White Rock (beautiful place however – waterfront and beach-side relax atmosphere), or Bowen Island. Tsawwassen which is south of Richmond is connected by a bottle neck underpass so your commute will be horrible with traffic jams.
If you’re looking for somewhere convenient to the City of Vancouver without the cost of living in City of Vancouver proper (not much different from the region except where real estate prices differ slightly) you should consider in priority (1) Richmond, BC real estate – coastal city, close to airport, cheap housing prices for apartments because more lax redevelopment process providing more housing supply (2) Burnaby, BC real estate – very large city with many different neighbourhoods in the city with varying characteristics and prices… much like Vancouver. (3) New Westminister, BC real estate – great location, cheap real estate prices, nice city, older heritage city (4) Port Moody, BC real estate – great place, but slightly pricier than surrounding areas (5) Coquitlam, BC real estate – very much inflated in pricing now for a suburb city (6) Port Coquitlam, BC real estate – much rural area but houses are still very affordable and cheap though less connectivity but there is the WCE (West Coast Express) and a car is probably needed (7) North Vancouver City – more expensive relatively to other municipalities in Metro Vancouver but relax resort-like vibe.
Cities to avoid might be Surrey, BC with higher crime rates but VERY cheap housing. (probably due to its reputation but also its redevelopment plan calls for substantial increase in housing alongside University campuses to attract young talent and change its reputation or crime rates… it’s still notorious region in Metro Vancouver to be careful. Many gang activities, drugs, and other crimes. Not pleasant.)
So, that’s pretty much it! A local look at Metro Vancouver. Hope it helps and please feel free to contact us or comment bellow! (We’ll get some heat for our description of Surrey, BC but we hope to share with you the local’s view of things that you may not find elsewhere.)
Port Coquitlam, BC is a city with a lot of potential but especially Langley when the SkyTrain comes. Within the City of Vancouver, East Hastings is a less desirable place. (Plenty of news articles you can find about East Hastings.) We’re not a news site; we hope to help locals rediscover their amazing city and to help tourists experience the best of Vancouver through our local recommendations and answers to questions about the Metro Vancouver region, without bias of sponsored content. (So take a good look at the ads if you find this content helpful! And please remove your ad blocker for when visiting VancityAsks.com)
Vancouver, BC Yaletown Guide – Everything you need to know about trendy Yaletown in Downtown Vancouver
What you’ll find here – Vancouver, BC Yaletown Guide:
Vancouver is a city of many colours, and many unique & beautiful neighborhoods to appreciate… even within the downtown Vancouver core.
If you’re visiting Yaletown in Downtown Vancouver, we’ve compiled a guide for everything you need to know about Yaletown in Vancouver, BC – from a local’s perspective written for visitors like yourself! (Or if you live in Metro Vancouver, we hope to help you discover your amazing city on VancityAsks.com)
We hope to guide you along this neighborhood and discover the best places to eat, drink, see, or do in Yaletown. We’d love to hear from you so, feel free to ask any questions in the comments bellow!
About Yaletown in Vancouver, BC:
Yaletown is a neighbourhood located in Downtown Vancouver.
Best Places to Eat in Yaletown:
- Best Seafood in Yaletown – Blue Water Cafe:
Best Things to See in Yaletown:
Best Instagrammable spots in Yaletown:
Best Things to Do in Yaletown:
- Walk the Waterfront:
More Cool Facts to Learn about Yaletown:
Thanks for reading more about Yaletown in Vancouver, BC on VancityAsks.com – if you have any questions or comments about Yaletown, please share them in the comments bellow. We’d love to answer any specific questions or assist with advising your trip to Yaletown.
You can also read more about other neighborhoods in downtown Vancouver on the following articles:
- Vancouver’s Chinatown
- Vancouver Downtown – Coal Harbour
- Vancouver Downtown – West End
- Vancouver Downtown – Robson Street
- Vancouver Downtown – Central Business District
- Vancouver’s East Hastings
Vancouver, BC Chinatown Guide – Everything you need to know about Vancouver’s Historic Chinatown
Welcome to Vancouver, BC Chinatown Guide on VancityAsks.com.
Let a local show you the best of Chinatown Vancouver.
With this guide, we endeavour to share everything you may want or need to know about Vancouver’s Chinatown, a map of Vancouver’s Chinatown inclusive. We’ll highlight the best things to eat in Vancouver’s Chinatown, the best things to see in Vancouver’s Chinatown, the best things to do in Vancouver’s Chinatown, a brief highlight of Vancouver’s Chinatown history, and the best instagram-able spots in Vancouver’s Chinatown for your keepsake.
This is something you want to read or browse if you’re visiting Vancouver’s Chinatown.
Best Things to Eat in Vancouver’s Chinatown:
Presumably, if you’re in Chinatown, you’re keen on appreciating some local Chinese food. However, there are much more cuisines and delicious meals to be enjoyed in Vancouver’s Chinatown than Chinese food. As such, we’ll explore both the best Chinese food to enjoy in Chinatown (not actually that many – you’ll find better selection of Chinese restaurants in Richmond, BC.) as well as the best things to eat in Vancouver’s Chinatown.
Best Chinese Food in Chinatown:
1) Chinese food –
2) Chinese food –
3) Chinese food –
4) Chinese food –
5) Chinese food –
Other BEST Places to eat in Chinatown:
Best Desserts in Chinatown:
Well of course, once you’ve eaten a delicious meal… there is ALWAYS space for dessert. Well, it so happens that Chinatown in Vancouver also has many specialty desserts spots! There were too many worth mentioning that it wouldn’t rationalize putting it in our top 5 places to eat in Chinatown list, so we’ve created another Top 5 Desserts to try in Chinatown. These are a combination of Asian desserts and various cultures but mainly Western desserts.
1) Desserts in Chinatown –
2) Desserts in Chinatown –
3) Desserts in Chinatown –
4) Desserts in Chinatown –
5) Desserts in Chinatown – Umaluma: Umaluma is known for delicious vegan ice cream that satisfy your desire for a cold, creamy treat – without the cream.
Best Things to See in Vancouver’s Chinatown:
Best Things to Do in Vancouver’s Chinatown:
5 Quick Heritage Facts about Vancouver’s Chinatown:
5 Best Instagram-able Spots in Vancouver’s Chinatown:
5 Movie References in Vancouver’s Chinatown:
Seeing as this is Vancouver, Hollywood North, it seems appropriate to share several spots that may have appeared in popular films or shows you’ve watched… if per-adventure, you’re a fan of said shows and would wish to see these places in person while you’re visiting Vancouver’s Chinatown – or at least doing it for the jealousy of your Facebook friends, Instagram followers, or Twitter followers.
5 Other Things to Know about Vancouver’s Chinatown:
5 Cool Facts about Vancouver’s Chinatown:
Thanks for reading about Vancouver’s Chinatown on VancityAsks.com; we hope you found this resource helpful and if you have any questions about Chinatown in Vancouver which was not addressed above, please feel free to comment bellow or use the Contact Us form here.