Lunar New Year is fast approaching and celebrations are ramping up in the city. Feb. 10 will mark the first day of the Year of the Dragon, but events will be starting next week and continue after New Year's Day.
1. Visit the flower market and countdown to the new year at Aberdeen Centre
Aberdeen Centre's Lunar New Year flower market and gift fair is back from Feb. 2 to 11 and community members can also take photos with the God of Fortune at a festive photo booth, booking available online.
On Feb. 9, the annual Lunar New Year countdown will start with a stage show by Fairchild Radio from 8:30 to 10 p.m., followed by blessings from Richmond's own God of Fortune, city councillor Bill McNulty. The countdown will start at 10:30 and end at 12:05 p.m.
On Feb. 10, New Year's Day, a golden dragon and lion dance will take place in the outdoor courtyard at 11 a.m. and cultural performances featuring local talents will be available in the central atrium on Feb. 10 and 11.
Date and Time: Feb. 2 to 11, 2024
Address: Aberdeen Centre, 4151 Hazelbridge Way
2. Check out the Lego dragon and other festivities at Lansdowne Centre
Lansdowne Centre is celebrating the Year of the Dragon by featuring a giant Lego dragon built by Robin Sather, one of 21 Lego-certified professionals in the world. Sather will start building the dragon on Feb. 3 and dismantle it on Feb. 25. Enthusiasts are invited to pop by and chat with Sather about all things Lego and give a helping hand with the dismantling.
On Feb. 10, a celebration event will be held in the Centre Court with a dragon and lion dance performance by Hon Hsing Athletic Club and activities including a family portrait studio, a meet and greet with Sather, an artisan market and festive crafts for children.
Date and time: Feb. 10, 2024 (1 p.m.) for the Year of the Dragon celebration
Address: Lansdowne Centre, 5300 No. 3 Road
3. Get festive at Richmond Centre with LNY decorations inspired by Singapore's Marina Bay Sands
Richmond Centre will be decked out in festive decorations including dragon-themed photo spots and "supertrees" inspired by Singapore's Marina Bay Sands. Shoppers can meet the God of Fortune and enjoy lion dances, traditional music and dance performances while doing their shopping. A special offer will also be available for UnionPay from Feb. 10 to 18.
Address: Richmond Centre, 6551 No. 3 Road
4. Listen to real-life tales told by diverse storytellers at Gateway Theatre
A special edition of popular storytelling series The Flame will be making its debut in Richmond on Feb. 10. Local storytellers and acclaimed actresses will be gathering at Gateway Theatre to take community members on an immersive experience with personal stories about family and new beginnings. Tickets are $25 and tickets are available online.
Date and Time: Feb. 10, 2024 (7:30 p.m.)
Address: Gateway Theatre, 6500 Gilbert Road
5. Ring the bell for a New Year's blessing and make lamp offerings at Ling Yen Temple
Ling Yen Mountain Temple is offering a service for community members to ring in the new year and reflect on new beginnings on Feb. 9 and 10. Visitors to the temple can also take a stroll through an illuminated path, make lamp offerings and prayers.
Date: Feb. 9 and 10, 2024 (for Lunar New Year events); now until Feb. 24 (for lamp offerings)
Address: Ling Yen Mountain Temple, 10060 No. 5 Road
6. Test your wits in an annual couplets contest and celebrate Lunar New Year with the community
Richmond Public Library's annual couplets contest is back. From now until Feb. 10, community members can submit their best complementary line to the first line, "At the start of the New Year, the dragon leaps over the heavenly gate to spread Chinese culture." Following Chinese couplets rules, both lines must have the same number of characters with each character belonging to the same word class. The tone pattern of both lines must also mirror each other and they must have complementary meanings. Submissions can be made in English and Chinese and can be submitted online.
The Brighouse branch is also holding a community celebration event on Feb. 24 featuring family-friendly activities and performances such as Chinese art and calligraphy, singing and guzheng performances, lantern riddles, face painting, games and crafts. The event is free and drop-in only.
Address: Brighouse Library, 100-7700 Minoru Gate
Do you know of any other celebration events? Email us at Editor@richmond-news.com with the subject line "Richmond LNY event."
For more upcoming events, check out the Richmond News events calendar.