If these short days are getting you down, you’ll be happy to know that Wednesday, December 21 is celebrated as Winter Solstice, and it means that it’s all downhill to summer! (Right?!?)

The 23rd annual Lantern Festival in Vancouver will be held on Wednesday, celebrating the solstice and the longest night of the year across three neighbourhoods in Vancouver. Bringing lanterns, fire, light, and hot chocolate to us for a brief respite from sitting at home watching Netflix every night.

The 2016 Winter Solstice Lantern Festival starts at 6pm with a series of processions from different areas of Vancouver, converging in either Strathcona, Yaletown, or Granville Island.

lantern festival vancouver


Location: Strathcona Community Centre – 601 Keefer Street and MacLean Park
Cost: Free

A lively lantern procession will start at the Strathcona Community Centre at 6pm, led by the drums of African Crossing Drum Ensemble to MacLean Park, where dancing and frolicking will ensue.

labyrinth of light vancouver

Granville Island

Location: 1318 Cartwright Street
Cost: Free, $7 for labyrinth of light

After enjoying indoor activities in the False Creek Community Centre from 7:00 – 9:00 PM, follow the Carnival Band over to Ron Basford Park where the Urban Haidas welcome the crowd and Inspired Circus weaves their fiery magic as a flaming sun sculpture lights the darkest night.

At Performance Works on Granville Island you can take part in the Labyrinth of Light, a maze of 700 beeswax candles. Perfect for meditation, zoning out, and experiencing something new. Tickets to experience the Labyrinth cost $7 each.

There will also be a procession to a new Fire Finale, which will occur around 9:30pm on Granville Island.

winter solstice lantern festival


Location: 181 Roundhouse Mews
Cost: Free for entry, $7 for the labyrinth of light

The traditional processions from the Aquatic Centre or Cooper’s Park have been cancelled. One procession leaves the Gathering Place (609 Helmcken St.) at 6:00 PM and heads to the Roundhouse. The Roundhouse hosts indoor activities from 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM, with a small lantern procession leaving the Roundhouse on a short mystery tour from 8:00 – 8:30 PM. The Fire Finale takes place on the Roundhouse Turntable at 9:30 PM.

Again, you can take a meditative journey through a Labyrinth of Light with the background of crystal singing bowls, for an extra shot of zen.

Learn more about the event on the official Winter Solstice Lantern Festival website.

In case of snow/rain/etc: The processions will be cancelled and the festival will go on at the indoor venues only starting at 7pm.

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