As we descend into the heart of winter, the days get a bit colder and the nights tend to be a little darker.
Cue the 23rd Annual Winter Solstice Lantern Festival.
The festival takes place on the darkest night of the year – Wednesday, December 21st, 2016 – and promises to brighten your night with beautifully lit lanterns, fire, singing, drumming, music and dancing!
Honouring many cultural traditions, the Winter Solstice Lantern Festival takes places across a variety of Vancouver neighbourhoods, including Chinatown, Granville Island and Yaletown.
Kick off the celebration at 6pm in your neighbourhood of choice with a lantern procession, followed by live cultural performances throughout the rest of the evening until 10pm.
Don’t worry – the lanterns are not harmful to the environment as they are handheld, crafted lanterns that are not meant to be released into the sky.
Immerse yourself in the Labyrinth of Light – a highlight of the festival which is made up of over 700 pure beeswax candles shaped into a twisty, self-guided maze intended to “release old attachments and envision new possibilities as the darkest night of the year births a new season.”
The Labyrinth will be presented at Granville Island and Yaletown.
This free event is a great way to spend time with your loved ones while participating in a culturally lit evening of activities. Some indoor events require a ticket cost, depending on the venue. Donations of $5 are greatly appreciated.
If you feel like volunteering, there are plenty of opportunities to help out before, during and after the event. Learn how to make intricate lanterns with local artists at the Roundhouse Community Centre from December 10th-20th (1-8pm on weekdays; 11am-430pm on weekends).
Winter Solstice Lantern Festival
When: Wednesday, December 21st, 2016
Where: Chinatown/Granville Island/Yaletown neighbourhoods
Cost: Some ticketed venues; $5 donation/person gratefully accepted