Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year in Richmond, BC

Chinese New Year in Richmond is a spectacle for the senses.

For 15 days, Richmond is awash with exciting celebrations. Alongside traditional lion and dragon dance performances, pop-up flower and gift markets sell beautiful floral arrangements and red-and-gold decorations, and the city’s Chinese restaurants boast an abundance of delicious food—we’re talking 10-12 courses in one sitting! Good thing Richmond has North America’s most authentic Chinese cuisine.

This time of year is important in Chinese culture, as many families will get together to celebrate the lunar new year. Families will dine out to celebrate special occasions and Chinese New Year is arguably the most important of them all. Be sure to make reservations early as Richmond’s restaurants fill up fast during the festivities!

Large roundtables at Richmond’s Chinese restaurants typically overflow this time of year with lively and elaborate feasts. Local favourites include Jade Seafood Restaurant, Sea Harbour Seafood, Fisherman's Terrace, Shiang Garden Seafood Restaurant, Continental Seafood Restaurant, Empire Seafood, and Chef Tony Seafood Restaurant. All offer banquet-style menus for large groups. If you want to join in the fun, you’ll need to make reservations far in advance. But trust us—it’s worth it.

Richmond’s monasteries and temples host events to celebrate, and guests are always welcome. Of particular interest is the traditional flower bazaar at the International Buddhist Temple, where you can purchase beautiful floral arrangements. Also at the Temple is a Chinese New Year’s Eve celebration, featuring a flower market, vegetarian late-night snacks and food offerings, and a blessing ceremony to ring in the new year. Modeled after the Forbidden City in Beijing, few other places in Canada offer as magical a venue to celebrate Chinese New Year. For a Tibetan take on the festivities, head to the Thrangu Monastery, where prayers and meditation services are open to all.

When is Chinese New Year?

2018: February 16th, Year of the Dog
2019: February 5th, Year of the Pig
2020: Janurary 25th, Year of the Rat
2021: February 12th, Year of the Ox

All About Chinese New Year

Also called Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, Chinese New Year marks the beginning of the new lunar year based on the Chinese calendar, and is a spirited celebration that lasts from the new moon through to the 15th day of the first Lunar calendar month. The lunar new year is celebrated in many parts of Asia, including China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Malaysia.

Traditionally, families gather on lunar New Year’s Eve for a reunion dinner. It is the most important meal of the year. Noodles are eaten for long life; dumplings, shaped like ancient Chinese money, represent wealth and prosperity; spring rolls, a traditional food of the Spring Festival, are said to look like gold bars; lettuce wraps are eaten because they play on the Chinese word for "fortune" which is also the word for "lettuce;" and large, golden fruits like tangerines, oranges, and pomelos symbolize fullness and wealth.

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