The stockings are hung by the chimney with care, and you’re so full of Christmas it is too much to bear….
At this stage of the holiday season, everybody is giddy and anxious about Santa’s big day. We’ve planned, shopped, wrapped, baked, visited, carolled and entertained ourselves to exhaustion, and we still have a week to go before our eager elves have their way with the gifts under the tree. A distraction, if even for a night, would do us all good. The Winter Solstice Lantern Festival, happening on December 21, is just what Mrs. Claus would order if she were running the show.
Now in its sixteenth year, Vancouver’s unique Winter Solstice Lantern Festival is a community-wide celebration of the end of darkness on the longest night of the year. Organized by the Secret Lantern Society, this year’s Lantern Festival will encompass four different Vancouver neighbourhoods: the East Side, Yaletown, Granville Island, Chinatown/Strathcona. Happening simultaneously, the festivals in each community have their own special flare, giving us plenty of choice.
At the risk of spoiling the surprise for festival-goers, we’ll give you a taste of what’s in store for next Monday night. In Yaletown, the festival starts with three separate processions of local residents carrying homemade lanterns and moving to the beat of West African drums. Revellers will converge at the Roundhouse Community Centre, to be welcomed by a blazing performance by Vancouver’s Fire Artists. Inside the Roundhouse, your wee ones will enjoy the Labyrinth of Light, a meditative path lit by over 700 pure beeswax candles.
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