6 Local Lunar New Year Events You Won’t Want to Miss

The dog days are just beginning.

It’s the Year of the Dog, and Vancouver’s got a calendar full of local events and celebrations to keep your tail wagging all month long. From lively lion dances to low-key fortune telling, the city is teeming with activities for monkeys, sheep and everyone in between. Whether you’d rather snack on a tea-infused chicken cone or some good ol’ yuanxiao, Vancouver’s got the event for you. (Photo: Lanterns in the Garden.)

1. Lanterns in the Garden

When: Weekends, until March 4Where: Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese GardenWhy you should go: The handmade lanterns crafted by Chinese and local artists that light up the garden continue a more than 2,000-year-old tradition! Guests can work together to solve lantern riddles, make their own lantern, and participate in wish-making crafts while chowing down on yuanxiao, pork buns, and Chinese-style pancakes.

(Photo: LunarFest, Facebook.)

2. LunarFest at the Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza

When: Saturday, February 24 to Sunday, February 25Where: Vancouver Art Gallery PlazaWhy you should go: This festival started in 2009 as part of the Vancouver Winter Olympic celebration and has since become a legacy event. Guests can meet and greet a giant husky, try their hand at chasing the moon in “Moon Crawl,” and make some pup-themed arts and crafts. Still not convinced? Admission is free, and dogs are welcome!

(Photo: Lunar New Year Festival.)

3. Collingwood Lion Dance Celebration

When: Saturday, February 24 (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.)Where: 3665 Kingsway StreetWhy you should go: Is there a better way to kick off the new year than scaring away evil spirits with cymbals, gongs and drums? Probably not. The parade will make double trouble for any ghosts looking to spoil the celebration as two Lion Dance teams will make their way down Kingsway and Joyce Street.

(Photo: Lunar New Year Festival.)

4. Sherman Tai Charity Fortune Reading

When: February 23 and 25 (9 p.m.)Where: River Rock Casino ResortWhy you should go: Master Sherman Tai has been studying feng shui, life charts, divination and palm reading for more than 40 years. He’s written seven books and is known internationally for his skill in fortune reading. And he’s doing it for a good cause, too—all proceeds benefit the BC Children’s Hospital. Find out what the future has in store!

(Photo: Lunar New Year Festival.)

5. Lunarfest at Oakridge Centre

When: Now through Sunday, February 25Where: Oakridge CentreWhy you should go: As if the gorgeous 800 blessing lanterns dotting Oakridge’s West Galleria wasn’t reason enough reason to visit, this mall is taking the “Year of the Dog” in a very literal sense: 100 canine-inspired figurines are waiting outside the storefronts, eager to greet busy shoppers. These pieces of art will be available to buy (for $38 each) at the end of the festival, and all of the proceeds from figurine “adoptions” will be donated to the BC SPCA.

(Photo: Lunar New Year Festival.)

6. Lunar New Year Tea Set

When: Now through Wednesday, February 28 (10 a.m. to 7 p.m.)Where: TWG Tea Salon and BoutiqueWhy you should go: TWG tea is starting the lunar new year off right with a hand-picked, limited edition set of savoury canapés and tea-infused desserts. The extravagant menu includes caramel tea infused miso maple sablefish, duck breast lettuce wraps accented with lotus jade tea, and alfonso tea mango pudding.