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Chinese New Year, Chinatown
Photograph: Azlan Baharudin / Unsplash

Best ways to celebrate Montreal's Chinese Lunar New Year

From the traditional Lunar New Year Parade to the best Chinese food in Montreal, here's how to celebrate Chinese Lunar New Year in 2023.

Written by
Laura Osborne
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Keep the new year party going! Montreal celebrates all over again with the arrival of the Lunar Chinese New Year.

When is Lunar New Year 2023?

The Lunar Chinese New Year occurs every year on the new moon of the first lunar month. This year, the Lunar New Year will fall on January 22, 2023, starting a year of the Rabbit. 

When is the Chinese New Year parade in Montreal?

Every year, Montreal’s Lunar New Year Parade joyously makes its way through Chinatown bringing traditional dancing lion and dragon performances to the streets. Starting at 1 p.m. on January 21, the Phoenix art school will kick off the festivities with a dragon dance and a group dance, followed by Montreal Fo Guang Shan and Montreal Chan Lion Dance Club performing a lion dance. 

What is the route of the parade?

The parade marches through Chinatown, located between De la Gauchetière Street, Saint Urbain Street and St. Lawrence Boulevard. Look for the vibrant red lanterns and special performances like the lion dance. The parade will finish in Sun Yat-sen Park at 3 p.m.

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Guide to Lunar Chinese New Year in Montreal

Every year, Montreal’s Lunar New Year Parade joyously makes its way through Chinatown bringing traditional dancing lion and dragon performances to the streets. On January 21, the parade will feature performances along De La Gauchetière Street (between Saint-Laurent Boulevard and Jeanne-Mance Street) and ending with a performance in Sun Yat-sen Park. . Look for the vibrant red lanterns and special performances like the lion dance.

 

Montreal’s best Chinese restaurants are where you'll find some of the best food in the city. Many traditional Lunar New Year foods are associated with layers of symbolism and good luck. Auspicious foods include dumplings, noodles, fish and sweet rice balls—just to name a few—which can be found at Montreal's delicious Chinese restaurants.

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The 7th Chinese Spring Festival Gala at Place des Arts on January 10 says goodbye to the past and welcomes the future with a magical program of traditional and stimulated Chinese instruments. Enjoy performances from Montreal Professional Youth Ballet, Chinese folk dance, Chinese classical dance and K-pop, singer Jessica Vigneault (daughter of the famous Quebec singer Gilles Vigneault) and the Chinese pentatonic choir—to name a few.

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The Marché de Nuit Asiatique is launching the first edition of the Spring Festival at Chinatown from January 20 to 22 in Sun Yat-sen Park. The festival is a unique event in Montreal, where visitors and tourists are invited to discover Lunar New Year traditions and enjoy a diverse free program including traditional and cultural activities. Expect special lighting in Chinatown, with a hundred traditional lanterns complementing Dragons Chasing the Moon—the suspended outdoor installation by artist Karen Tam.

6. Visit the Wishing Tree

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Sun Yat-sen Park will be specially lit up and decorated for the Lunar New Year. Visitors will be able to purchase a ribbon, write a wish for the new year on it, then hang it from a branch of the Wishing Tree—and discover whether 2023 will be a year of luck and fortune with a Kau Chim (Chinese fortune sticks) reading. Feeling chilly? Warm up on the benches thanks to the standing heaters and free hot tea. On January 20 and 21, La station de l’avenir (a digital collaboration between MAPP_MTL and the Gentilhomme and Robocut studios) will create a giant luminous fresco. During the day, La station de l’avenir will collect drawings by members of the public which will be projected on the walls of the buildings overlooking Sun Yat-sen Park after sunset.

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