The Year of the Dragon will come blazing in on Feb. 10. With it comes the potential for power, prosperity, and opportunity. And to celebrate the start of the Lunar New Year, you’ll want to check out these 17 festivities happening in and around Toronto.
From food to events and more, there are so many ways you can ring in the beginning of the 15-day festival in Toronto.
When: Feb. 10-11
Hosted by Toronto’s Chinatown BIA, Lunar New Year festivities will be in full swing at the Dragon City Mall and Chinatown Centre. Try your luck at the second annual “Mahjong King” competition to win one of several cash prizes and cast your vote in a laneway naming competition. Enjoy Chinese music and dance performances, cultural booths and great food. Festivities kick off with the iconic Lion Dance on Feb. 10.
When: Feb. 19
Step inside the warmth and greenery of Allan Gardens Children’s Conservatory for a Family Day of Lunar New Year fun. At this pay-what-you-can event, families will partake in dragon-themed crafts, learn about various cultural traditions and enjoy a 12 p.m. Lion Dance.
When: Feb. 2-4
Inspired by the success of last spring’s Asian-owned market, the Welcome Market, in partnership with Annie’s Supply, is excited to launch this year’s Toronto Lunar New Year Market. Featuring more than 35 booths, visitors can celebrate and learn about Asian culture and shop one-of-a-kind products and an array of foods — all from local Asian-owned small businesses.
When: Feb. 16
The ROM’s ever-popular After Dark party series will celebrate 2024’s Year of the Dragon with a Valentine’s Day twist. Those 19+ are invited to attend and enjoy drinks and an exclusive DJ set underneath an impressive fiery dragon projection show. Explore the Ho Queen art show featuring works created by Toronto’s queer Asian community and take part in a traditional Lion Dance.
When: Feb. 17-18
Throughout February, Varley Art Gallery of Markham will illuminate their courtyard with magnificent lanterns created in collaboration with Indigenous artists to honour the Year of the Dragon. On Feb. 17-18, drop by the gallery and partake in dragon-making crafts or learn about traditional Taiwanese basketmaking.
When: Feb. 10 -11 and 17-18
Spanning two weekends of celebration, Pacific Mall (North America’s largest Asian mall) invites visitors for Lunar New Year festivities, including the traditional Lion Dance, live music and entertainment. Prize giveaways, cultural celebrations and (of course) great shopping can also be expected.
When: Feb. 10
The Junction’s Pinot’s Palette will be hosting an afternoon of painting dragons to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Geared towards visitors 13+, guests are welcome to enjoy their favourite drink or cocktail, find their preferred easel and enjoy getting creative with friends.
When: Feb. 9-11
Featuring Vpop artists, performances, celebrations and stories, the Small World Centre will be ringing in the Lunar New Year — or Tết — with Toronto’s Vietnamese community. Experience an array of cultural and traditional festivities and enjoy a lively weekend welcoming spring and the Year of the Dragon.
When: Feb. 8-25
The Markham Museum will be aglow with lanterns and festivities throughout February to celebrate the Year of the Dragon. Featuring 25 acres of indoor and outdoor experiences, visitors will love exploring the food, cultural exhibits and activities, including ice skating, snowshoeing, games and performances. Visit the wishing tree, encounter a dragon and admire more than 250 incredible lantern exhibits.
When: Feb. 13
For one night only, music fans can immerse themselves in a spectacular Lunar New Year performance hosted by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Enjoy classical renditions of “Song of the Pipa,” an ancient Tang dynasty poem, and the “Butterfly Lovers Concerto,” an ode to one of China’s most beloved stories about young love and tragedy.
When: Feb. 10
With proceeds going to the Yee Hong Community Wellness Foundation, which provides care in a culturally nurturing environment to Toronto’s elderly, the Dragon Ball is one of North America’s biggest Lunar New Year fundraising celebrations. Featuring a night of dining, entertainment and cultural performances, this event is worth getting dressed up for.
When: Until Feb. 19
Woodside Square in Scarborough will be celebrating the Lunar New Year 2024 with a lantern exhibit not to be missed. Discover an enchanting display of handcrafted large-scale lanterns featuring everything from a traditional Chinese dragon and Japanese Koi to intergalactic scenes that light up the night sky.
When: Feb. 24
From February 10 to March 10, North York’s Mel Lastman Square will transform the darkness of winter into a colourful display of lights. Visitors will enjoy several globally inspired celebrations, food trucks and an array of impressive lights and lanterns. And on Feb. 24, the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto will host a Lunar New Year celebration, including performances and a spectacular dragon lantern display.
When: Feb. 2-4
Drop by Scarborough Town Centre to participate in a weekend of Lunar New Year fun. Watch the Dragon parade, enjoy dazzling performances and explore STC’s very first Lunar New Year Market, featuring artisan vendors offering everything from jewellery and food items to hand-crafted home goods and wellness products.