How do you celebrate Lunar New Year? #OurLNY 2021 Virtual Celebration

Happy year of the Ox! 

Gung Hei Fat Choy! 

Gong Xi Fa Cai! 

This year’s Lunar New Year—like most events—was different. Many of us were unable to celebrate in person with friends and family, and public celebrations were canceled or moved online. But like the strong Ox, we persevered and we adapted. To spread the New Year cheer, in the week leading up to LNY, the INSTRCC student team (in partnership with the Museum of Vancouver (MOV) and the Chinese Canadian Museum Society of BC (CCM)) brought you a virtual celebration centred around how you celebrate. 


Social Media Engagement 

Our social media celebration was the most interactive part of the INSTRCC LNY line-up. To launch our celebratory programming on February 1st, we partnered with the Museum of Vancouver and the Chinese Canadian Museum Society of BC to host a giveaway chock full of Chinese Canadian-themed goodies, including tickets to the A Seat at the Table exhibition at the MOV, Makers Artists United 2021 calendars, restaurant vouchers, and more fun prizes. Using the hashtag, #OurLNY2021, we asked you to share your LNY stories with us which informed some of our virtual programming and blog posts. Additionally, we used our Instagram handle, @chinesecanadianstories, to share interactive activities such as LNY bingo, quizzes and polls, and so on. 

The focal point of our celebration was a website ( we launched which served as a hub that housed LNY-themed blog posts, select short films from the A Seat at the Table exhibition, upcoming community events and more. 

In the days leading up to Lunar New Year, we published blog posts centred around food, customs and stories, some of which were curated from stories you shared via social media. 

“Why can’t I wash my hair on Lunar New Year?” 

  • A member of the INSTRCC student team shares customs, rituals, and superstitions practiced by her family for Lunar New Year. We also share more examples of homonym-based beliefs commonly regarded during the New Year—Chinese people love our puns! 

“What’s on Our Plate? – 年夜饭” 

  • The INSTRCC team shares what their families eat for 年夜饭 (nián yè fàn), Lunar New Year’s Eve. 

“WeChat Calls and Dumpling Wrap-offs – LNY Celebrations and Traditions” 

  • We asked our followers @ChineseCanadianStories on Instagram to share how they celebrate the holiday. Here’s what they said. 

“The 12 Zodiacs and the Great Race” 

  • Ever wondered about the backstory of the zodiac animals and why they are ordered the way they are? There are different variations of the story, but give our summary of the Great Race a read. 

“#SupportSmall: Treats for your Lunar New Year Feast” 

  • Here we highlight some of our favourite local restaurants and some special LNY meal sets they have on offer. 

“Modernize Tailors” 

  • Established in 1913, Modernize Tailors is one of the oldest legacy businesses in Vancouver Chinatown. Mia Wu from Modernize Tailors writes about how the business brings together traditional wear and modern experiences under the overarching Chinese value of family unity. 

“Keeping Dinners Small & Virtual Celebration Calls” 

  • @Foodyblogs and @Foodologyca, two social media food bloggers from Vancouver, share with us how they celebrate LNY and what they are changing this year. 

The website also premiered some short films from A Seat at the Table for a limited amount of time. We know many of you cannot physically visit the exhibition at this time, so we brought the videos to you in the form of a mini home theatre! Each film was offered with English, Traditional Chinese, and Simplified Chinese subtitles. Among the selected films were: Dumplings, Bubble Tea, Randall Wong, Ovaltine Cafe, Start of a Vision, Under Fire, and Radical Intimacy. You can check out these films and others by visiting the A Seat at the Table exhibitions at the Museum of Vancouver and the Chinese Canadian Museum at Hon Hsing locations. 


Lunar New Year this year was different but we found new ways to celebrate and come together. Whether you joined in the festivities or not, we hope you had a wonderful Lunar New Year and we wish you and your loved ones happiness and health for the Year of the Ox. 


Artwork and writing by Rose Wu