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5 Ways to Celebrate Lunar New Year in Victoria, B.C.

Posted on January 28, 2019

The Year of the Pig is upon us, and what better place to celebrate Lunar New Year than in Canada’s oldest Chinatown? In Victoria, you'll find no shortage of cultural experiences to help you bring in the New Year with authentic traditions and festive events. 


Experience the Annual Ceremonial Lion Dance

On February 10 celebrate the arrival of the Year of the Pig with a traditional Lion Dance in Victoria’s Chinatown. Starting at noon at the Gate of Harmonious Interest, watch the intricate and traditional movements as the Lion dances through Chinatown. Spectators will be immersed in the magic and charm of this colourful occasion which will include kung-fu and tai chi demonstrations, traditional dancing and dragon performances. 

Store windows will be decorated with traditional red and gold good luck symbols, and the Chinatown grocers have an array of tempting and delicious goodies on display, such as mandarin oranges with bright green stems and leaves still attached (a symbol of good luck and prosperity) and bundles of fresh lychee fruit, which is eaten at this time of year because it symbolizes strong family relationships.

Image by Brandon McGeachie


Drink Tea Associated with Blessings & Health

In Asia, it’s traditional to drink teas for blessings and good health to celebrate the New Year. Silk Road Tea Company in Chinatown is offering Lunar New Year tea flights February 1-10. Sip a trio of lucky teas to see what the Ching oracle says is ahead for you. Alternatively, join their Lunar New Year Ceremony and experience the oldest tea ceremony on February 2 at 11:00 a.m. to welcome blessings and prosperity. 

Image by @silkroadtea


Explore Canada’s Oldest Chinatown

Take some time to explore the vibrant wonders of Chinatown, including the famously narrow Fan Tan Alley, named after the game of “Fan Tan.” You'll uncover traditional Chinese toys and games, artwork, homewares and unique clothing in Chinatown's many locally-owned boutiques. 

Insider tip: Join a Discover the Past walking tour to learn about Fan Tan Alley’s history of opium dens, brothels and gambling joints.

Fan Tan Alley Victoria
Image by @stephsnelling


Make a Night of It

Keep the celebration going and enjoy a special Lunar New Year Dinner at Don Mee Seafood Restaurant. If you’re still in Chinatown and looking for more west coast-inspired fare, we highly recommend you check out Olo Restaurant, whose farm-to-table menu is built around high-quality and locally-sourced ingredients. 

Image by @joshzedphoto


Go Back in Time

For a truly historic experience, visit the Royal BC Museum and take a guided one hour tour of the Becoming BC Gallery. You'll be transported back in time as you explore exciting stops in Chinatown, the railway and the cannery, which illustrate the contributions of the Chinese community to the rich history of our province. 


Gong Xi Fa Cai! Gong Hey Fat Choy!