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Celebrate the Lunar New Year: Four things to do in Edmonton and Calgary

The Year of the Ox begins Feb. 12, and Chinese communities in Edmonton, Calgary and beyond have options to celebrate the new year.
Celebrate the Lunar New Year this month with events around Alberta. Photo: Metro Creative Connection

Indoors and out, the province's Chinese communities will be marking the Lunar New Year and Year of the Ox starting Feb. 12, with festivities through the month. Here' a sampling of ways to join in the celebrations.

Edmonton Chinese Garden

 For over a decade, this spot in Louise McKinney Park has been a hidden gem in the river valley. A friendship gate, zodiac statues and new Nine Dragon Wall (said to be one of the biggest in North America) will engage visitors with its impressive size. Tranquil and free to visit, it's a lovely spot to enjoy at any time of year.

Chinatown Ice Sculpture Showcase Calgary (to end of February)

The Chinatown Ice Sculpture Showcase—five ice sculptures to mark the Chinese Lunar New Year, the Year of the Ox--will be displayed from February 11, 2020 (New Year's Eve) until the Lantern Festival, which is on February 28, 2021.

It's All About the Food

Whether you want to try your hand at homemade dumplings or enjoy takeout or delivery from your favourite Chinese restaurant, food is at the heart of this cultural celebration. Chinatown restaurants in Calgary, like Regency Palace, Silver Dragon, and Lucky Place Restaurant offer dumplings and dim sum delights. Centre Street also has plenty of dining options, from Central Grand Restaurant and Pheonix Gate Chinese Cuisine to Golden Central Chinese Cuisine. Edmonton favourites include The Lingnan and Emperor's Palace, both in the downtown core.

Chinese Lunar New Year Festival (February 5–15, 2021, virtual)

Though it's a virtual affair this year, the popular program features calligraphy exhibitions and workshops, lantern displays, live performances, and firecrackers.