Even if you’re totally in love with Christmas, it’s refreshing to check out a winter event that doesn’t feature Santa Claus. This year is the 25th Annual Winter Solstice Festival in Vancouver and it’s a can’t miss event for anyone who loves to connect to the magical and mystical!\nThe Winter Solstice is on December 21st and it’s the longest night of the year. It's a multicultural celebration of life replete with lanterns, dance, fire performances, music and more! You can join in a “glowing constellation of lanterns” on the darkest night of the year.\n@arielhudnallembedded via\nThis year, you can join in the festival at Granville Island or Yaletown. Check out whichever one fits of these distinctive neighbourhoods that fit your vibe. Make a lantern at one of their workshops or bring your own to join in the lantern procession and festivities.\n@arielhudnallembedded via\nOne of the coolest features of the festival is their Labyrinth of Light. When you walk inside the labyrinth, the scent of honey fills the air. The humming of crystal sound bowls creates a comforting sound for you to begin your journey through the maze of lanterns. This unique experience is a walking meditation where you can reflect in peace and in a community.\n@arielhudnallembedded via\nMake sure you bundle up so you can stay for the fire finale that takes place shortly after 9:30 p.m. At Granville Island, the show is particularly impressive. It takes place atop a hill and creates a seriously dramatic firey scene!\nAlso at Granville Island, The Labyrinth at Granville Island takes place at Performance Works and you can catch the other activities at False Creek Community Centre from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. In Yaletown, festivities take place at the Roundhouse Community Centre.\n@secretlanternsocietyembedded via\nThe Winter Solstice Lantern Festival happens on Friday, December 21. This event is totally free but they humbly accept donations. The festival is run by the artists at the Secret Lantern Society, a community supported and non-profit organization. This event is usually shrouded in mystery and intrigue, so check out their website for last minute updates and be prepared for anything!