Event: The 24th Annual Winter Solstice Lantern Festival, Dec. 21

Image: Julius Reque

Spacing Events Vancouver Banner
The 24th Annual Winter Solstice Lantern Festival
Date: December 21
Time: 6–10 pm
Price: Single: $10 | Dual (2 Single tickets): $15 | Family (2 adults + 2 children): $20 | Garden Member: $6
The 24th Annual Winter Solstice Lantern Festival returns to Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden on December 21 after a yearlong break. Produced in partnership with the Secret Lantern Society, the festival transforms the Garden into an illuminated wonderland with hundreds of handmade lanterns, live music, light installations, and aromatic tea.

Highlights of the magical evening:

  • Begin your magical adventure with a stroll through the Garden’s winding path with whimsical animal and organically shaped lanterns.
  • Enjoy mesmerizing light projections on the Celestial Sphere flying above the Garden’s recently restored pond.
  • See the ­­­14-foot-long dragon lantern installed at the Garden’s ting.
  • Create your own beautiful solstice headdress using organic materials such as leaves and dried flowers in the Garden’s China Maple Hall.
  • Treat yourself to hot aromatic tea and participate in a tea ceremony while listening to featured performers, including the traditional Chinese and original music of Lan Tung & Bo Peng Duo, atmospheric jazz of the Saul Berson Duo, acoustic folk/fiddle of Twisted Hazel, and the whimsical accordion/clarinet duo Teacup in the Tuba.
  • Purchase one-of-a-kind lanterns created by one of the Secret Lantern Society’s artists.
  • Lantern artists include Yoko Tomita, Joey Mallett, Willoughby Arevalo, Nicole Jang, and Naomi Singer.


The annual Winter Solstice Lantern Festival was created by the Secret Lantern Society in 1993 in honour of the sun’s return. This community celebration incorporates musical and artistic traditions from numerous cultures.

For the Chinese, the winter solstice celebration (the DongzhiFestival literally means “the extreme of Winter”) is one of the most important festivals. Traditionally, it is a time for the family to get together and celebrate with specially prepared food, particularly the making and eating of tangyuan (湯圓) or balls of glutinous rice, which symbolize reunion. The celebration marks the beginning the sun’s return and the shifting of the energies from yin to yang in the cosmological balance.

The 24th Annual Winter Solstice Lantern Festival is a one-day multi-venue festival presented by the Secret Lantern Society in partnership with Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden in Chinatown. For information about the other venues (False Creek Community Centre and Performance Works on Granville Island and the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre in Yaletown), please visit www.secretlantern.org.