Upcoming Event: Qilin Dance Workshop – 3:30-5:30pm Saturday April 13

Upcoming Event: Qilin Dance Workshop – 3:30-5:30pm Saturday April 13

Chinatown Together and the Vancouver Tsung Tsin (Hakka) Association are hosting a free Qilin Dance workshop next Saturday, April 13 from 3:30-5:30pm in the courtyard in front of Dr. Sun Yat Sen Park!

When: Saturday, April 13, from 3:30-5:30pm
Sun Yat Sen Courtyard (enter at 578 Carrall)


The qílín 麒麟 (kei4 leon4) is a legendary creature from Chinese mythology that is sometimes called the “Chinese Unicorn”. While some of the qílín’s features, such as its antlers, beard, mane, and scales, are similar to those of the dragon, its body shape and hooves are more akin to deer, goats, or horses. Qílín are also called “Kirin”, which you might recognize from the restaurants in Vancouver, Richmond, and New Westminster, or from the beer, Kirin Ichiban, which takes the qílín as its logo. In fact, “Kirin” comes from the Japanese name for the mythical beast, which is shared across Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese and Thai cultures, as well as in different Chinese traditions, such as the Hakka.

Qílín dance is a centuries-old tradition of the Hakka 客家 (haak3 gaa3) people, an ethnic group in China whose name means “guest families” because of their later migration South from China’s central plains. Like lion dance and dragon dance, qílín dance combines music, performance, and martial arts and is used to celebrate festivals, holidays, and significant events. While less common than the lion dance or dragon dance, qilin dance has seen recent efforts towards revival and revitalization, especially in overseas communities. The Hang Hau qílín dance in Sai Kung, Hong Kong, has even been designated an intangible cultural heritage of Hong Kong, similar to the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Festival on Hong Kong Island, which inspired Vancouver’s own Fire Dragon Festival.

From the hosts of next Saturday’s event:

In Vancouver, it’s been almost a decade since the Hakka qilins were danced, so we’re excited to reawaken them in Chinatown with you. At the event, you’ll get to see a qilin dance demonstration by a dance master and a new dance team composed of Chinatown community members, learn a bit about the history and culture, and then do the qilin dance yourself!

Things to bring:

  • Ear protection
  • Comfortable clothes & shoes suitable for movement
  • Water to stay hydrated

COVID Safety Information

For the health and safety of all our community members (especially seniors, disabled and immunocompromised folks), we highly encourage you to wear a face mask (preferably KN95, KF94 or N95).

Accessibility Information

Transit: Chinatown is accessible by transit via skytrain and bus. The closest skytrain station is Stadium-Chinatown.

Parking: The closest paid parking is located on the street or at Chinatown Plaza (106 Keefer Street).

Restrooms: There are public washrooms available inside Chinatown Plaza Mall and Tinseltown Mall.

Venue accessibility: The courtyard will be accessible through gates on Carrall Street, and may be accessible through gates on Pender Street. There are no steps required to enter the space.