Although Lunar New Year is commonly referred to in Vancouver as Chinese New Year, the festival is celebrated in many regions of Southeast Asia.
Lunar New Year began on January 23 and heralded in the Year of the Dragon - the only character in the Chinese zodiac that is not a real animal but a mystical creature. The Dragon is a symbol of luck, power and fortune and is a historical symbol of the Chinese emperor.
This is an auspicious period in the Chinese zodiac. After 2012, you will not see another Dragon for twelve years, so we suggest taking in local Lunar New year events and trying some of the world's finest real Chinese food - which arguably just happens to be right here in Vancouver. Who knows, maybe some of that Dragon luck will rub off!
Where to Eat
For the first time, Chinese chefs in the city are about to duke it out in the kitchen for the title of BC Chinese Chef of the Year.
The competition will take place January 29 and 30 at the BC Foodservice Expo (sorry public, registration is open only to members of the foodservice industry).
All competing chefs are members of the Canadian Culinary Federation (CCFCC) and the BC Chefs Association. While only one team will be crowned the winner, this list of competitors provides a window into where you are likely to find some of the best Chinese cuisine in the city:
Gordon Ping Wah Chan of Always Seafood Restaurant
Sam Ka Bo Leung of Dynasty Seafood Restaurant
Wing Ho of Fortune Seafood Restaurant
Anthony Shy Wing Leung of Grand Dynasty Seafood Restaurant
Joseph Jiang of The Jade Seafood Restaurant
Kent Wong of Red Sun Seafood Restaurant
Chun Lum Ma of Shiang Garden Seafood Restaurant
Keng Wai Ng of Vivacity Restaurant
Todd Bright of Wild Rice Modern Chinese Restaurant
(From the official media release): "The competition will surely be the highest-profiled professional Chinese chef event for the Chinese chef community in this province," said Chef Donald Gyurkovits, CCFCC president and one of the event organizers. "I am so proud of my colleagues in the Chinese community for stepping up to this exciting challenge. I look forward to witnessing the making of Canadian culinary history!"
Vancouver Chinese Restaurants Rated by Diners and Critics
If you want to sample some of the finest Chinese dishes in Vancouver, start with the website of the Chinese Restaurant Awards. Explore dishes ranked in 'critics choice' and 'diners choice' categories.
Dine Out Vancouver - Search by Cuisine Type
Chinese and South East Asian restaurants are also part of Dine Out Vancouver, happening now until February 5, 2012 and offering great deals on set menus at popular eateries across the city. Search restaurants by cuisine category on the Dine Out Vancouver website presented by Tourism Vancouver.
Lunar New Year Events & Festivals Happening this Weekend
LunarFest at Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza (including Lunar New Year Skate at Robson Plaza)
Year of the Dragon Temple Fair - Dr. Sun Yat Sen Garden
Year of the Dragon Celebration - International Village
Year of the Dragon Celebration - West Vancouver
Which one of the 12 Chinese Zodiac signs are you? For a little fun, check out your animal sign on the Travel China Guide.