If the short, rainy, dark days are starting to get to you (not counting yesterday’s freakishly awesome sunny day), you’ll be happy to know that the shortest day of the year is coming up next week. Monday, December 21 is celebrated as Winter Solstice, and it means that it’s all downhill to summer! (Right?!?)
The 22nd annual Lantern Festival in Vancouver will be held on Monday, 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 Narcos and Jessica Jones every night.
The 2015 Winter Solstice Lantern Festival starts at 6pm with a series of processions from different areas of Vancouver, converging in either Chinatown, Yaletown, or Granville Island.
Strathcona / Chinatown
Location: 578 Carrall Street
Cost: Free procession, $10 entry to gardens ($15 for couples)
A lively lantern procession will start at the Strathcona Community Centre at 6pm, led by the drums of African Crossing Drum Ensemble to Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Garden.
If you want to go into the Garden to enter a dream-like world filled with unique lanterns, you’ll have to pay $10 or $15 for a couple. There will be hundreds of lanterns, activities, a tea ceremony, and entertainment.
Learn more about the Chinatown Lantern Festival here.
Location: 1318 Cartwright Street
Cost: Free, $7 for labyrinth of light, workshops for $5
There will be three processions of people carrying lanterns in the Granville Island area, starting from the HR MacMillan Space Centre, triangle square, and leg in boot square at 6pm, ending up at Sutcliffe Park at 6:30pm.
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 hot chocolate, family dancing, a giant fire sculpture, and other cool things. Learn more about the Granville Island Lantern Festival here.
Location: 181 Roundhouse Mews
Cost: Free for entry, $7 for the labyrinth of light
Processions will go around the seawall and through Yaletown to meet at the Roundhouse for fun, fiery, festivities. There will be a wide array of activities and performers throughout the venue.
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 Yaletown Lantern Festival here.
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.