23rd Annual Winter Solstice Lantern Festival

Wednesday December 21, 2016

One festival, many neighbourhoods

The 23rd Annual Winter Solstice Lantern Festival
Wednesday December 21, 2016

Seawall procession

Seawall procession

The dance of the sun and earth has inspired celebrations of the human spirit, expressed through art and music, throughout the ages. Honouring many cultural traditions, the annual Winter Solstice Lantern Festival illuminates the darkest night of the year with lanterns, fire, singing, drumming, music and dancing!

Come celebrate this free community event with a glowing constellation of lanterns shining in four Vancouver neighbourhoods. These four little festivals are community-based and reflect the unique nature of each neighbourhood. Intimate and accessible, each invites your participation. Wherever you wind up, we hope you feel connected to your community and to the universal spirit of celebration!

The event begins at 6:00 PM with lantern processions in each neighbourhood followed by multicultural performances and activities in a variety of indoor venues. These include: Yaletown, Granville Island, and Strathcona.

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden will undergo pond renovations in December 2016. Winter Solstice Lantern Festival will return to the Garden in 2017.

Click here to learn more about the science of solstice.

A free family event, with some ticketed venues. Suggested donation of $5/person gratefully accepted.

Activity Highlight


Labyrinth of Light by Gregory Byrne

Labyrinth of Light by Gregory Byrne

The labyrinth has long been used for meditation, prayer and sites of ritual in various cultures around the world. Created with over 700 pure beeswax candles, the winter solstice labyrinth invites you to warm yourself in a self-guided ceremony intended to help release old attachments and envision new possibilities as the darkest night of the year births a new season.

This year we present the Labyrinth of Light on Granville Island and in Yaletown.

Secrets are continually revealed. Please stay tuned for more info in the coming days.

Dear Friends,

If you love this festival, please write and tell us what the Winter Solstice Lantern Festival means to you. Your letters are more important than you know - not only do they touch our spirit, they are included in every grant we write to illustrate how deeply art touches the lives of so many.

To ensure the festival returns each year please also write to our partner Community Associations to thank them directly for their continued participation. Your voice is essential!

Naomi Singer
Artistic Director, Secret Lantern Society