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If you’ve ever wanted to visit Asia to experience Chinese cultures and traditions, there’s a festival that you need to add to your calendar right now. And, it’s totally family-friendly!
Taking place in Burnaby on Saturday, May 4 and Sunday, May 5, Tian Jin Festival gives you the opportunity to learn about the ancient cultures of China — without leaving Canada. The seventh-annual event draws in thousands of visitors every year and it’s completely free to attend.
Taste mouthwatering Taiwanese food (you’ll want to Instagram it before your first bite), and see incredible live cultural performances. There’s also going to be plenty of traditional Chinese games and activities that children of all ages (AKA, you) can take part in.
Before you attend this year’s Tian Jin Festival, here’s a look at some of the events that you can enjoy when you get there.
Traditional Chinese Sugar Art
Watch a Sugar Artist create delicious pieces of edible sugar art before your eyes. You can have everything from sweet-tasting art pieces like a butterfly, dragonfly, peach, sword, or an intricate 30 cm long dragon and Phoenix. This is one of the most popular activities at Tian Jin Festival, and it’s easy to see why. You can show your appreciation by providing a donation before you indulge in your dessert.
Arts and Crafts Workshops
Bring the kids along to learn how to make a paper lantern folding art, paint their own mask, and create small Traditional Chinese knots with red string. Best of all, they’ll get to take their finished work home with them at the end of the day.
Kids can get their face painted at the festival and run around in the Gym Bus afterwards. If you’re a child at heart, why not get your face painted too? If anything, do it for the ‘Gram.
Balloon Artist Magic
This extremely popular activity is a favourite among guests at the festival each year. You can see the balloon artist create magic with balloon objects and creatures. If you want to go all-out, request an art piece such as a wearable jet pack, giant octopus, swinging monkey, or balloon flowers. If you do, you can provide a donation to show your thanks.
Traditional Carnival Games
What would a festival be without carnival games? At Tian Jin Festival, you can take part in games like shooting balloons, skating on roller balls, and ring tossing, to try and win free raffle tickets. When you collect enough tickets, you can head down to the prize booth and exchange your tickets for a prize.
Okay, so this isn’t free but it’s 100% worth any money you spend. With a diverse selection of traditional Taiwanese food, Tian Jin Festival has guests coming back for more every year. Remember to wear your stretchy pants, because you’re going to want to eat a lot.
In addition to popular Taiwanese classics like Taiwanese popcorn chicken, stir-fried vermicelli, and red bean wheel cake, this year the festival has added many new items (there will be 30 different choices.) Keep an eye out for Taiwanese bento boxes, which will be in limited supply!
There are also plenty of vegetarian options for those who don’t eat meat, so nobody will feel left out.
Free Cultural Performances
Chinese DEAL Band are based in Vancouver and inspire young musicians by participating in and organizing major musical events in the city. They’ve performed on The Voice of China, The Singer, warmed up for the Ai Yi Cheng Ge-Lao Lang concert, and much more. You’re don’t want to miss their performance at the festival.
Shaolin Martial Arts Academy
Shaolin Temple Martial Arts Academy has been in Vancouver since 2002 to promote kung fu learning from Shaolin’s 1,500-year rigorous tradition. This May, you can see Kung Fu. Master Shi Xing Wu, a 32nd generation warrior monk from Shaolin Temple, performing martial arts at the festival.
Lindbjerg Academy Choir
Lindbjerg Academy is a performing arts centre dedicated to teaching the art of musical theatre, dance, singing, and acting. The academy is not only a school where children learn the skills to perform, but also a place where those skills are applied and enjoyed. Now you can check out their performance at this year’s Tian Jin Festival.
In addition to these, you can look forward to many more cultural performances by Tian Jin Formation Drums, Shaolin Martial Arts Academy, Spirit of Dance, and more, and song performances by Zing! Children’s Choir and Weekend Warriors.
Don’t miss out on your chance to experience this year’s Tian Jin Festival. It’s basically the best way to spend a day out with your pals or family!
Tian Jin Festival 2019
When: May 4 and 5
Time: 11 am to 4 pm
Where: 3426 Smith Avenue, Burnaby
Price: FREE — RSVP via Facebook