Photos: Colourful Chinese Lantern Festival to debut in Vancouver in December

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      Vancouver is used to seeing Christmas lights and holiday-themed exhibits in the winter season, but there’s a new attraction coming to the city this year that we’ve never seen before.

      The world-renowned Chinese Lantern Festival will be making its Canadian debut in Vancouver (December 15, 2017 to January 21, 2018) at the Pacific National Exhibition (entrance at the corner of Renfrew and Hastings Street).

      It will be the largest of its kind in the country, and will feature 35 colourful illuminated displays that will transform 14-acres of Hastings Park—some of the lanterns are almost 200-feet in length.

      Chinese lanterns are culturally significant in China; lantern festivals started during the Han Dynasty, which was about 2,000 years ago. For centuries, lanterns festivals have been lit on the fifteenth day of the first month in the Chinese calendar to pray for a good harvest, and to gain favor of Taiyi, god of heaven.

      “We believe our lantern festivals can improve cultural communication between China and the world. It is our wish for communities globally to explore how the Chinese lantern festivals are celebrated and to discover why this festival is significant to people of Chinese decent,” said Bin Zhu, Director of Sichuan Tianyu Culture Communication Co. Ltd, the organizer of this event, in a press statement. “The artists will be creating many culturally significant lanterns as part of this display, and we look forward to bringing out all the communities within British Columbia to enjoy the event.”

      This Dragon lantern symbolizes worship.
      Vancouver Chinese Lantern Festival

      Some of the lanterns that will be on display include the Dragon (a symbol of worship and considered the noblest creature in the world), White Pagoda (a traditional part of architecture that offers great views), Kylin (a traditional beast with a calm temperament in ancient Chinese tales), and Huabiao Column (famous structures in the Forbidden City in Beijing). Each lantern symbolizes a Chinese sage or legend.

      “It is a tremendous honour to have been selected by this leading cultural organization as the inaugural host in Canada for this important festival,”said Mike McDaniel, president and CEO of the Pacific National Exhibition, in a press statement. “We anticipate people from all ethnicities and cultures from across our region will be excited about the opportunity to see this important and impressive display.”

      In addition to the lantern displays, festival-goers will also be able to watch nightly performances in the PNE Amphitheatre. The show will feature face-changing, acrobatics, plate spinners, folk dance, jar-balancing, and erhu (a Chinese two-stringed fiddle).

      Talented plate-spinners will demonstrate their skills at the festival's two nightly performances.
      Vancouver Chinese Lantern Festival

      Don’t fret about being hungry or thirsty, a food and beverage program will be available at the event. Children’s activities will also be offered to keep the young entertained.

      Tickets ($13.50 to $55.00) are available online. The Chinese Lantern Festival runs daily (except Christmas Day) on Friday and Saturday (5 to 11 p.m.) and Sunday to Thursday (5 to 10 p.m.).

      Scroll through the photos below for a preview of the upcoming spectacle. 

      Vancouver Chinese Lantern Festival

       

      Vancouver Chinese Lantern Festival

       

      Vancouver Chinese Lantern Festival

       

      Vancouver Chinese Lantern Festival

       

      Vancouver Chinese Lantern Festival

       

      Vancouver Chinese Lantern Festival

       

      Vancouver Chinese Lantern Festival
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      Follow Tammy Kwan on Twitter @ch0c0tam and Instagram @ch0c0tam.

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