The Chinese New Year, (Feb 10, 2024) or the spring festival, being dynamic has high recognition worldwide. As the name implies, it is a traditional holiday that celebrates the beginning of the new year on the lunisolar Chinese calendar. The year calculation dates back to about 300 years ago among the cultural Chinese. However, it has gone beyond celebration in China alone. The Chinese New Year is now celebrated in many cities, especially the ones with a tangible Chinese population. In Canada alone, there are good numbers of Chinese population. Calgary as the largest city in AB boasts about 10% Chinese population. Fun fact is, many Calgary citizens, who are not Chinese also participate in the New Year festival celebration. As a metropolitan city, cultures are still being respected and celebrated.

Culturally, the holiday is celebrated with a variety of traditions and activities, such as parades, fireworks, dragon and lion dances, and the exchange of red envelopes containing money. However, the Calgary Chinese New Year celebration takes on a more modern tone and twist. Let’s look at why the Chinese New Year is so special in Calgary, as well as how locals celebrate it.

Why is the Chinese New Year a Common Celebration in Calgary?

The Chinese population in Calgary has been making an impact on the community since the 1800s. It is no surprise the Chinese New Year culture is being reserved. In addition to the celebration, there is the Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre which is a community centre dedicated to serving the Chinese community of Calgary and the surrounding area.

Chinese New Year celebrations in Calgary are not limited to the local Chinese community. It showcases the city’s commitment to embracing different cultural perspectives and celebrating diversity. This festival is a wonderful opportunity for people from different backgrounds to come together and experience the joy of Chinese culture and traditions. In 2024, the Chinese New Year events will take place on February 3, 4, 10, and 11 at the Chinese Cultural Center in Calgary.

See Also: Canada Day: What is Canada Day Celebrated For?

In addition, Calgary’s celebration of Chinese New Year highlights the city’s dedication to embracing different cultures and fostering community involvement. Local schools, businesses, and government bodies frequently participate in these celebrations, solidifying its reputation as a citywide event. With a wide range of educational programs about Chinese culture and special Chinese New Year menus in local eateries, the city fully embraces this festival, making it a popular and cherished celebration.

What Festive activities happen on Calgary Chinese New Year

The Calgary Chinese New Year celebration is an exciting and lively event that showcases a variety of joyful activities. Dragon dancers, martial artists, and singers put on captivating performances at the Chinese Cultural Centre on four separate occasions. Additionally, you’ll find a bustling market, an exciting lucky raffle, and captivating calligraphy demonstrations.

Everyone is welcome to attend the event and discover the rich traditions and customs of Chinese New Year. Best of all, it’s completely free! Here are some of the activities that you can expect to see during the celebration:

Dragon Parades

Experience the vibrant Chinese New Year tradition of the dragon parade. The vibrant parade with its captivating dragons, rhythmic drummers, and graceful dancers as they meander through the lively streets of Calgary, spreading good fortune and prosperity to the community.

Experience the captivating art of Lion Dances

Yet another beloved tradition during Chinese New Year is the captivating lion dance. The dance is executed by skilled performers donning intricate lion costumes, showcasing their acrobatic prowess to the rhythmic accompaniment of drums and cymbals.


Fireworks are a must-see during the Chinese New Year festivities, and Calgary doesn’t disappoint. The city’s skyline is lit up by a breathtaking show of fireworks, creating a truly mesmerizing spectacle.

Food Festivals

Calgary’s Chinese New Year celebration also includes a variety of food festivals that highlight the city’s vibrant culinary scene. At the festivals, you’ll find a wide array of traditional Chinese dishes, including dumplings, noodles, and rice cakes. There are also some exciting modern takes on these classic favorites.

What to do While Attending the Calgary Chinese New Year

If you’re planning on attending the Calgary Chinese New Year celebration, here are some tips to help you make the most of your experience:

Calgary’s Chinese New Year: Traditions with a Local TwistMake sure to arrive early.

It’s a good idea to arrive early at the festival to secure a prime spot for the dragon march and other performances, as it tends to get quite crowded.

Explore the Chinese Cultural Center.

Immerse yourself in the rich cultural experiences of workshops, traditional performances, and exhibitions showcasing the vibrant art and history of China. During the New Year celebrations, the center is bustling with activity, offering valuable insights into the customs and significance of the festival.

Plan your transportation

Make sure to plan your transportation accordingly as the event will be held downtown. Consider utilizing public transportation or carpooling to reduce traffic and parking congestion.

Please take a look at the schedule.

Make sure to check out the diverse range of activities and performances at the event. It’s a good idea to plan your day by taking a look at the itinerary. Make sure you catch the spectacular fireworks display, a must-see event during the festivities.

Discover the vibrant local market.

Explore the New Year’s market at the Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre or other event sites. These markets offer a wide range of traditional items, crafts, and snacks, giving shoppers a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in Chinese culture.

Get involved in local events and initiatives.

Take part in the numerous events organized by community centers and schools. With a variety of activities such as crafts, storytelling, and performances, these programs offer fun and educational experiences for people of all ages, helping them gain a deeper understanding of Chinese New Year traditions.

Take Away

Calgary’s Chinese New Year celebration encapsulates the city’s vibrant multicultural essence, reflecting a deep-seated tradition of embracing diversity. Through the dynamic festivities at the Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre and citywide, from thrilling Dragon Parades to enriching cultural workshops, the event unites Calgarians and visitors in a shared experience of joy and cultural exchange. This celebration not only honors the rich traditions of the Chinese community but also showcases Calgary’s commitment to fostering inclusivity, making it a cherished annual event for all.