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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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Welcome to VancityAsks.com’s William Lake hotel guide.
Williams Lake is a small town in interior BC with a population of around 20,000 but still the 2nd largest city within the Cariboo Region of interior British Columbia, second only to Quensel.
It was first established in late-1800s during the gold rush with initiative from BC’s government in Victoria, and faced several ups and downs finally to be built into the city it is with the BC Rail development through the city.
Today, it’s a beautiful city with plenty of natural landscape (as much of #BeautifulBC) along with the 2nd largest Stampede in Canada, the Williams Lake Stampede. It’s a small town with unique character while the weather averages around 20 Celsius annually dipping bellow 0 on the winter months. Thompson Rivers University also has a campus at Williams Lake, BC.
Best Tips for Booking Williams Lake Hotels:
Williams Lake, BC has only 9 hotels being a relatively small city in interior BC.
When should you book Williams Lake Hotel?
You’re unlikely to get any last minute deals at hotels in Williams Lake, BC due to the low frequency of bookings. Prices appear to remain pretty stable at an average of $100/night whether you’re booking 1 week in advance, 1 month in advance, or 6 months in advance.
However, with the low demand for Williams Lake hotel you should have no problem booking a hotel at Williams Lake on last minute notice (unless there’s a specific hotel you really want).
If you’re booking a Williams Lake Hotel during the Williams Lake Stampede, then be sure to book it 1 month in advance as demand would be higher and prices correspondingly increase as supply reduces.
If you’re booking during the winter months, there should be no problem booking hotels the day of your visit to Williams Lake, BC if you’re willing to take a risk – you’d likely save 10-25% on your last minute booking at Sandman Hotels & Suites Williams Lake and Hamilton Hotel provided they have ample supply of rooms available.
We would however recommend booking as soon as possible as rates don’t seem to fluctuate as much with small town hotels and prices are simply dependent on supply of rooms – meaning if more rooms are booked closer towards your visit, the prices will be higher.
Hotels in small cities like Williams Lake are generally very cheap already with little room for price discrimination.
Should you book Williams Lake Hotel direct? (Or use a travel agency?)
Of the 9 Williams Lake Hotels, 5 are popular hotel franchises/brands. If you’re looking to accumulate loyalty/status nights at Best Western, Coast hotels, or Wyndham, then you might wish to book direct. Sandman does not feature a loyalty program.
Even so, these loyalty programs at Wyndham, Best Western, and Coast Hotels are very lackluster and do not provide significant benefits for bigger loyalty programs as Marriott-SPG, Hilton, or Accor hotels might have – you would likely get better immediate value booking through an online travel agency.
It is better to book through an online travel agency like Trip.com who provide additional discount for your bookings with added customer service support. (Online travel agencies like Trip.com and Expedia.ca or Priceline.com often take around 30% of the booking as fees. They then offer a % of this back to their customers as a loyalty program of sorts.)
Cheapest Online Travel Agency to Book Williams Lake Hotel?
If you’re looking to book a hotel in Williams Lake, BC through an online travel agency – we prefer using Trip.com. As the new kids on the block (but a NASDAQ listed company) they often feature better perks or incentives to get new customers on board. (I’ve notice they sometimes seem to make hotels cheaper than their competitors just for the customer acquisition. They also offer Trip Coins for booking with members and member exclusive rates.)
However, in this instance – it appears that Trip.com has prices 1-2% higher than their competitors like Expedia.ca or Hotels.com. We would recommend booking through Hotels.com for their loyalty/rewards program which provides you one night free for every 10 nights.
5 Best Hotels in Williams Lake, BC:
1) Overall Best Williams Lake Hotel – Ramada By Wyndham Williams Lake:
We never thought we’d be recommending a Ramada hotel in our best hotels recommendation because quite frankly, most Ramada hotels (and many Wyndham hotel brands) run towards the budget spectrum of hotels… often resulting in really bad value for guests – unless you enjoy cigarette burned carpets and derelict furnishings taking you back to the 1980s (when the hotels were probably built). Many of the Ramada hotels often find themselves in bad neighbourhoods as well, that’s almost as consistent as the careless service known with Ramada hotels – just look at Ramada in Vancouver or Victoria if you need an example. The Ramada in Vancouver has homeless sleeping regularly outside as does the Howard Johnson while the Ramada in Victoria is known to be in a questionable neighbourhood of Victoria, BC.
Nevertheless, this Ramada by Wyndham Williams Lake stands apart with clean rooms, great service, hot breakfast, and phenomenal value (good prices). The location is also conveniently located on the edge of Williams Lake downtown and walking distance to Williams Lake itself.
The rooms importantly are also newer than most hotel rooms in Williams Lake with modern furnishing and reasonably cleaned between each guest. The hot breakfast is a great added bonus to start your day right and make your visit to Williams Lake more enjoyable. The excellent and convenient location in Williams Lake is the icing on the cake providing easy access to downtown Williams Lake with dining options and a balance with nature walking to Williams Lake itself. The price is well on the money and averages around $125 a night.
Ramada by Wyndham Williams Lake is well deserving of our “Overall Best Williams Lake Hotel” feature.
Address: 1118 Lakeview Crescent, Williams Lake, BC V2G 1A3
2) Best Williams Lake Hotel for Families – Sandman Hotel & Suites Williams Lake:
We’ve recommend Sandman Hotel & Suites Williams Lake as the #2 Best Hotel in Williams Lake for its (1) phenomenal location in the heart of downtown Williams Lake and the (2) nicely renovated newer rooms to provide a comfortable stay for your visit to Williams Lake, BC. (3) Excellent value as the price typically is slightly above $100 which provides excellent value for such location and hotel room in Williams Lake. You’re much better off spending the extra $30 and having a comfortable stay than cheap out with a budget hotel in Williams Lake like Stampeder’s Hotel or Hamilton Hotel leaving a bad taste to your Williams Lake visit.
While the main drawback is Sandman Hotels do not provide complementary breakfast as other hotels in Williams Lake do – which truly is a nice perk to have with hotel stays (why do you think airlines serve meals 2 hours before landing?) however its convenient location in Downtown Williams Lake mean dining options are aplenty and with the room rates typically $20 lower than Ramada by Wyndham Williams Lake, you could just think of it like a free breakfast! (not quite the same convenience nonetheless).
It’s still an excellent hotel in Williams Lake for families and business travelers who may prefer better rooms and location for their visit as Sandman Hotel & Suites Williams Lake is known for. (As in better rooms than most other Williams Lake hotels – the Sandman Hotels brand takes great effort to regularly renovating their rooms to keep up with the mid-range hotel category). The suites hotel may also be much appreciate for families who would prefer cooking family meals in their room as a family activity especially with a grocery store nearby.
The Sandman Hotel & Suites is well deserving of being considered the #2 Best hotel in Williams Lake. Bright and clean rooms and friendly service located conveniently in Williams Lake with plentiful dining and leisure options.
Address: 664 Oliver St, Williams Lake, BC V2G 1M6
3) Best Williams Lake Hotel for Local Experience – Coast Fraser Inn:
Coast Hotels is another familiar BC hotel chain (although lacking behind the reputation of Sandman Hotels and Accent Inns in our opinion) and Coast Fraser Inn in Williams Lake, BC provides the reliability and quality you might come to expect of Coast Hotels.
The location of Coast Fraser Inn is conveniently situated in Williams Lake downtown with walking distance to many dining or amenities (including a fitness centre) with a Boston Pizza right besides the Williams Lake Hotel. There’s not much to complain about the locality where Coast Fraser Inn finds itself in Williams Lake – however it is not quite as convenient as Sandman Hotel & Suites Williams Lake.
The big benefit that Coast Fraser Inn has going for it is the complementary hot breakfast, great local service (they truly emphasize a local experience) with personable service members, as well as standard rooms you would expect in a Williams Lake hotel. As with most aging hotel that might not have underwent a full renovation yet, your experience with regards to the room furnishing would be hit and miss but mostly good.
The Coast hotel brand is also big on sustainability so you will find big shampoo and soap bottles within all their hotels than the single use plastic disposables (Very BC-ian). If environmentally friendly practices are important to you then this is another reason to book at Coast Fraser Inn when visiting Williams Lake. Rooms are good but it is an aging hotel.
If you’re looking for a boutique hotel in Williams Lake and one that screams local, Coast Fraser Inn is likely your BEST choice for a Williams Lake hotel without taking the risk of ruining your stay in Williams Lake with a non-branded local hotel. (Another comparable option we considered was Dummondlodge but Coast Fraser Inn had better location, service, breakfast, and as a full service hotel with online booking makes your experience prior and during your stay much easier… than a manual booking required at Dummondlodge without price list.)
A night at Coast Fraser Inn averages around $125 which is similar to Ramada by Wyndham Williams Lake Hotel. Coast Fraser Inn is an excellent value for a local Williams Lake hotel with the consistency and quality you’d expect from a Coast branded hotel. While they also have a rewards program, you’re better off booking with an online travel agency that provides price guarantee an a discount through their rewards program.
Address: 285 Donald Rd, Williams Lake, BC V2G 4K4
4) Best Williams Lake Hotel for Business Travelers – Best Western Williams Lake:
The Best Western Williams Lake Hotel is generally the pricier option among hotels in Williams Lake with prices around $140+ during the off peak season. It is also one of the newer hotels in Williams Lake having opened in 2012 meaning guests can enjoy newer beds and rooms along with their amenities.
While the prices for Best Western Williams Lake are typically higher than previously mentioned options, they also garner a loyal list of customers who appreciate the mid-range hotel’s newer amenities. Most notable besides their indoor pool and hot tub is the complementary “continental” breakfast which serves a variety of hot and cold options including scrambled eggs, sausages, fresh waffle machine, fruits, yogurts, and of course coffee & juices.
The location of the Best Western in Williams Lake is far from ideal; while it has lake view and walking distance to Williams Lake – you are out from the downtown core with not many dining options in the vicinity (unlike Sandman Hotel & Suites Williams Lake which provides many dining options within walking distance – sometimes after a long time on the road or a long day, it might be ideal to go for a leisurely stroll than another drive to find dining options). If you’re driving by through Williams Lake and looking for a rest or don’t mind a slight drive to downtown Williams Lake, the location is serene (except the highway) and fitting.
Best Western Williams Lake is very suitable for business travelers with newer property for comfort at slightly higher prices than other of the best hotels in Williams Lake we’ve mentioned, fast wifi and connectivity, along with a complementary full breakfast to start the day right! The rooms are good and service friendly so there’s not much to complain about staying at Best Western Williams Lake if you’re looking for a hotel in Williams Lake; the Best Western Williams Lake is especially fitting if you’re looking for a hotel in Williams Lake travelling on business. The breakfast here is much better than other Williams Lake hotels.
Address: 1850 Broadway Ave S, Williams Lake, BC V2G 5G8
5) Best Cheap Williams Lake Hotel – Valleyview Motel:
Valleyview Motel in Williams Lake, British Columbia is a locally owned budget hotel/motel with views of William Lake right from your hotel room.
The hotel is not listed with most online travel agency and check-in closes at 10 PM so it is in your best interest to book a diferrent hotel in Williams Lake if you’re uncertain about your schedule. With this said, if you’re looking for a clean motel in Williams Lake with an unbelievable price then Valleyview Motel might be a reasonable choice to consider. The rates during off-peak season is as low as $60 a night.
At ValleyView Hotel in Williams Lake, you won’t find any fancy amenities or complementary breakfast – there isn’t many dining options in the direct vicinity either… however you’ll appreciate a clean and comfortable (albeit small) room for incredible value. The Williams Lake Hotel is very well located within reasonable distance to downtown Williams Lake and across from Williams Lake with many natural experiences to appreciate. Service is friendly and you’ll likely be dealing with the owner/operator. The motel is aged however, being one of the older motels in Williams Lake. We’ve mentioned it for it’s pricing, clean rooms, and location; it is the cheapest hotel in Williams Lake that you can still stay at reasonably safely. There is no coffee maker at the motel. This is your choice if you’re looking for the cheapest hotel in Williams Lake – than the alternative being Hamilton Hotel which makes this look like a three star hotel in comparison. It is located right on the highway so noise might be a concern.
(It’s no secret that we appreciate locally owned and operated businesses at VancityAsks.com. While a franchise is generally preferable when choosing a hotel because of its reliability, consistency, and standards (and your hotel or accommodations when visiting a city is not something you generally want to be adventurous and risk taking with) – we take any opportunity to highlight locally owned hotels/motels that provide a high standard of quality and consistency for guests. We hope to highlight one local property with each of our hotel guides in British Columbia. With this said, franchises, even local franchises such as Sandman Hotels or Accent Inns are still better choices when choosing accommodations for your travel – the quality and consistency of a franchise is something you’d appreciate.)
Address: 1523 Hwy 97 South, Williams Lake, BC V2G 2W3
Complete Williams Lake Hotel Guide:
Juniper Trails Bed and Breakfast:
A homely bed and breakfast in Williams Lake that makes for phenomenal accommodations in Williams Lake, BC at a price of around $130/night. Modern furnishing with the comforts of home with limited availability – 3 rooms available at Juniper Trails Bed and Breakfast. Booking has to be made direct here: https://www.junipertrails.ca/Bed-Breakfast.html
It’s excellent bed and breakfast/accommodations in Williams Lake, the only reason it’s located within the Complete Williams Lake Hotel guide is because there are only three rooms available and booking cannot be done conveniently online. The rooms are immaculately cleaned and the lounge area provides fresh coffee/tea for guests to enjoy alongside delicious fresh baked goods and treats throughout the day. If you’re looking for a unique experience in Williams Lake, British Columbia – booking at this Bed and Breakfast will surely do the trick!
The location however is not idea for those looking to travel conveniently but ideal for those looking to find a getaway resort like experience in Williams Lake, BC.
Location – Bellow Average
Service – Above average
Rooms – Above average
Amenities – N/A
Price/Value – Good
Recommended Williams Lake B&B? Yes – Nice locally owned B&B. If you don’t mind the remote location in Williams Lake, the Juniper Trails B&B is a nice respite and something unique to experience only available in Williams Lake. You also get to appreciate coffee & baked goods throughout the day and a hearty breakfast to start your day in a rustic home with modern amenities and comforts. An excellent choice if you don’t mind shared common space, a little inconvenience with its location, or the added price comparative to options like Sandman Hotel & Suites Williams Lake.
Locally owned and operated highway motel with good location to Williams Lake but a distance from downtown Williams Lake without much amenities or food & beverage nearby. Cheap Williams Lake Hotel with very little to offer but friendly host/service.
Location – Bellow Average
Service – Above Average
Rooms – Average (old & run down but clean)
Amenities – Bellow Average (none but BBQ pit available)
Price/Value – Average
Recommended Williams Lake Hotel? Yes – Nice locally owned hotel which may not have much to offer with but is clean with friendly & local service.
Drummondlodge Williams Lake Hotel:
Drummondlodge Williams Lake Hotel is a locally owned hotel walking distance to Williams Lake and downtown Williams Lake. The hotel only has 18 regular rooms and 6 large suites; bookings must be made direct on their website through a contact form. It’s a good hotel in Williams Lake, BC.
Location – Above average
Service – Above average
Rooms – Average
Amenities – Average
Price – Ok
Recommended Williams Lake Hotel? Yes. Drummondlodge is a good Williams Lake Hotel but an added inconvenience by having to book direct than confirming your booking through Trip.com or Booking.com. It’s a hotel that would be hard to find as it is not listed on Trip Advisor unless you search specifically for it. The 24 room hotel is a locally owned Williams Lake hotel with nice rooms and friendly owner.
Super8 By Wyndham Williams Lake:
A little old and outdated hotel with bellow average accommodations at bellow average prices. Location is farther away from Downtown Williams Lake but located walking distance to Williams Lake. Not the first pick if you’re looking for hotels in Williams Lake, BC.
Location – Bellow average
Service – Average
Rooms – Bellow average
Amenities – Bellow average (with free breakfast)
Price – Good
Recommended Williams Lake Hotel? – Yes. A typically Super 8 highway hotel with free breakfast but not an excellent location in Williams Lake, BC.
Slumber Lodge Williams Lake:
This hotel is not easily visible on most booking websites online but is truly a hidden gem of recency – since it was bought over in 2017 the new owner has taken to renovating the 21 room motel. Slumber Lodge Williams Lake may not provide the most comfortable accommodation in Williams Lake but it is undoubtedly the cheapest motel in Williams Lake that’s reasonable (something you can actually stay in reasonably, unlike Hamilton Hotel or Stampeder’s Motel) – rates are currently at $60/night CAD on Booking.com (the only online booking platform with Slumber Lodge Williams Lake)
Location – Above average
Service – Slightly above Average
Rooms – Bellow average
Amenities – Bellow average
Price – Great
Recommended Williams Lake Hotel? – Yes. Slumber Lodge Williams Lake is a cheap hotel in Williams Lake. It is not the average you’d expect but if you’re looking for a hotel in Williams Lake with a good location then Slumber Lodge Williams Lake might fit the bill with it’s recent renovations, certainly not the first choice, but a reasonable choice for the price of $60/night. The owner and front desk is friendly but expect run down rooms that could use plenty of improvements. Good location.
Blackbird Bay Bed & Breakfast:
Blackbird Bay Bed and Breakfast is another B&B with excellent reputation in Williams Lake, BC – it was however bought over in 2001 with wonderful new owners but a young family who has changed things around a little to make their family space a priority. The B&B does not provide a lounge area for guests (just your room) and breakfast spread is contention (wholewheat & multigrain bagels + cold cereal + juice). The bed & breakfast overlooks Williams Lake and walking distance to downtown Williams Lake, making it convenient and clean accommodation option. As wonderful as the family sounds who now own Blackbird Bay B&B… the changes however does make the price justification of staying at Blackbird Bay Bed & Breakfast; you’d be better off booking a good hotel in Williams Lake, BC with a hot breakfast option like Ramada Williams Lake for the same price. Bookings can be made by email here: https://www.bbcanada.com/325.html/OlcVk/
Location – Above average
Service – Average
Rooms – Above average
Amenities – Bellow average
Price – Average
Recommended Williams Lake B&B? No. As lovely as the family sounds and a great location for an B&B, the change with Blackbird Bay B&B has made the B&B an afterthought than a unique guest experience for visitors. When staying at a B&B and paying the price premium, guests should ideally experience something locally unique. The changes have made the B&B more like a transient short-term accommodation and the continental breakfast does not provide any redemptive features to the reduce accessibility for B&B guests. Visitors to Williams Lake, BC would be better served at a full service hotel with a hot breakfast for the same price like Ramada Williams Lake or Best Western Williams Lake – there is minimal amenities or guest interaction at the revised B&B. If you’re looking for a simple room at a fair price ($90/night) in a convenient location (overlooking Williams Lake and walking distance to downtown Williams Lake) without expectations of having much space accessibility then you might wish to book at Blackbird Bay B&B however the added hassle of booking manually doesn’t seem worthwhile with the current B&B. If you’re looking for a unique B&B in Williams Lake, BC then consider Juniper Trails Bed and Breakfast (without the same convenient location).
Hamilton Hotel – Williams Lake Motel:
Hamilton Hotel is a Williams Lake Motel with a good location but the epitome of a “hotel” you want to avoid. It has recently come under new management who have tried to spruce up the “hotel” but it appears to be mainly cosmetic fixes. The hotel is sloppy and lacking in every aspect you might want when looking for a Williams Lake Hotel. Prices are average at $100/night but value falls bellow.
Location – Above average
Service – Bellow Average
Rooms – Bellow average
Amenities – Bellow average
Price – Average
Recommended Williams Lake Hotel? – No. Hamilton Hotel is not somewhere you want to be staying in Williams Lake.
Stampeder Motel – Williams Lake Motel:
Stampeder Motel is where you want to NOT stay when visiting Williams Lake, BC. Among questionable business practices, the motel is an older motel boasting many flaws including non-functioning smoke detectors in certain rooms as reported by previous guests. Location is average but just avoid it – definitely not worth the savings of $10-$20.
Location – Average
Service – Bellow Average
Rooms – Bellow average
Amenities – Bellow average
Price – Average
Recommended Williams Lake Hotel? – No. Stampeder Hotel is not somewhere you want to be staying in Williams Lake.