Vancouver Chinese New Year Parade is happening this Sunday Jan 26 in Chinatown. Been raised in Vancouver, this is one of events that is a must see. The parade begins at 11am at the Chinatown Gate located between Carrall and East Pender. There will be marching bands, martial arts performance, cultural dances, and the highlight, a stream of colorful Lion dances. The parade this year will bring 70 entries with over 3000 people participating in the event. Even our rainy weather, this event draws over 100,000 spectators a year. Oh did I remember to say, bring a umbrella, it will be a bit wet this year, a far cry from snow we had last year.
Once the main parade ends, that does not mean it’s time to pack it up. Chinatown itself will have many post parade throughout the area. If you want to get out of the rain, try International Village (Tinsiltown) there will be a mini market (like night market) in the mall with many activities to enjoy yourself. The lions themselves will be making a appearance at many of the stores to bring luck and prosperity. This is the time to come and see the lions up close.
The Parade this year will celebrate the year of the rat, the first of all zodiac animals. Rumor is, the Jade Emperor said the order of the zodiac was already decided for his party, however the rat convinced the ox to give him a ride and just as they approached the party, the rat tricked the ox and jumped off first and ran to party, becoming the first of the 12 year cycle of the Chinese zodiac. Did you know George Washington, Al Gore, William Shakespeare were all born on the year of the rat?