UBC Botanical Garden hosted its first Lunar New Year Market this year and it was a huge success. It was wonderful to see so many members of the UBC and Vancouver community come out to celebrate and welcome the year of the rabbit with us. We were overwhelmed by the immense popularity of this event and we are working hard to find ways to further improve the event for years to come.
During this festive two-day event, local vendors participated to sell their goods, artwork and crafts. UBC student clubs attended to present cultural dances and other performances. Tickets included admission to the Asian Garden and UBC Botanical Garden also offered potted plants and fresh flowers for sale. Altogether, it was an exciting and eventful two days that brought many people together to share and celebrate the Lunar New Year. If you couldn’t attend this year’s event, here is a recap of what happened throughout the weekend.
This year’s vendors were all local and had beautifully presented booths with their goods displayed for sale. Over the two days, there were 12 vendors present for one or both days of the event. Guests could expect to browse for artwork such as handmade prints, patches, pins, stickers, tote bags, hats, pottery and more. Most items were connected to the Lunar New Year and this year’s zodiac sign – the rabbit. For those born in the year of the rabbit, it was an exciting moment to see so many rabbit-themed handmade products. Unlike the astrological zodiac signs that change monthly, the Chinese zodiac signs change every year, so your Chinese zodiac sign will come around every 12 years. It can be special for those celebrating the Lunar New Year to celebrate “their year” and all the vendors did an exceptional job at ensuring that this year’s celebration was memorable for all the guests.
Aside from the focus on the year of the rabbit, the vendors also did a great job of highlighting other important traditions. Lunar New Year is the biggest celebration in China and is also a major celebration in many other East Asian countries. It is a time to celebrate the turn of the new year following the Chinese lunar calendar and is a momentous time to share food and wishes for good luck with family and friends. Many of the vendors sold goods and/ or food that were centred around good luck and fortune for the year to come. Guests could purchase stickers with good luck phrases, themed cards and other gifts for themselves or loved ones.
Popular amongst the guests were the lion dances and kung fu performances from UBC Kung Fu Club, and dance performances from the YunTang Dance Club with traditional clothing provided by the UBC Hanfu Culture Society. These performances were widely admired and enjoyed by the guests as they as an opportunity to discover and watch some festive Lunar New Year traditions. For example, the lion dance is typically performed to bring good luck and ward off evil spirits when we enter the new year. We were very grateful to have these UBC student clubs perform on both days at our very first Lunar New Year market. The guests were impressed and the performances created an immersive and celebratory Lunar New Year experience.
For many guests – whether celebrating the Lunar New Year for the first time, attending with children or just looking for a way to celebrate in Vancouver, these performances can be a true highlight in completing the whole experience of the market. Next year, we will provide a schedule outlining all the performances. Be sure to check that out before purchasing your time-slotted tickets so that you don’t miss a thing!
We thank all vendors and performers for participating in our first Lunar New Year Market. Additionally, we would like to thank our media sponsor, Daily Hive Vancouver for sponsoring this event. Since this was our first year hosting and organizing the Lunar New Year Market, we are enormously proud of how it turned out. However, we understand that there are a few areas in which we could improve in the years to come. If you have feedback you want to share with our team, we would love to listen. Please contact us at email@example.com to share your experiences.
Submitted by Ariel Baena-Tan, Marketing and Communications Assistant.