One of the great parts of living in Toronto is how multicultural the city is. You can enjoy celebrations from all around the world, right in your own backyard. One of those celebrations is the Chinese, or Lunar, New Year. We’ll be welcoming the year of the horse on Friday, January 31, 2014. If you’re wondering what to do in Toronto to celebrate, you might want to check out LunarFest, happening this weekend at Harbourfront Centre. Admission is free, so what have you got to lose?
What to do in Toronto for the Lunar New Year
LunarFest runs from 11:30am-7:00pm on Saturday, January 25 and Sunday, January 26, 2014. It started in 2009 in Vancouver as part of the run-up to the Olympics, and it held the first event here in Toronto back in 2012. Over the past five years it has become one of Canada’s premier events celebrating contemporary Asian arts and culture. Whether you’re new to the city or your family has been here for generations, this event is what to do in Toronto to celebrate diversity. The festival is green, too. All the lanterns at LunarFest use only LED lights, and each year the event includes an environmental awareness campaign.
This year’s lunar new year celebration at Harbourfront Centre features a new experience – Lantern Palaces. Running every hour, you’ll see a theatrical play using lanterns as players and story-tellers. The highlight is a family of life-sized lantern horses traveling through historical Asian palaces, each of which has been transformed by lanterns. After the show, you can experience the lanterns up close.
Dancers, Dumplings and More
LunarFest is also presenting hourly Lion Dancers of the World shows, featuring lions from China, Japan, Korea, India, Indonesia and Taiwan. Enjoy a tea sample at Lunar Tea, and taste some dumplings at Dumpling Fest. You can also learn to wrap your own dumplings! There are also workshops where you can create your own lantern, and activities including fortune-telling and a chance to bring home your own lucky LunarFest Amulet. Finally a two-storey-tall rocking horse installation is meant to inspire the child in us all.
If you’d like to add LunarFest to your list of what to do in Toronto this weekend, you can head to their website for more information.