Chinese New Year falls on Jan. 31 this year, marking one of the most significant celebrations in Chinese culture. The start of the new lunar year is celebrated with traditional performances, parades and other happenings, but you don’t need to book a last-minute trip to China to enjoy the celebration. Chinatowns around the U.S. will be bringing the festivities stateside — don’t miss the celebrations in these three cities.
With the largest Chinatown in the country, San Francisco will host one of the nation’s grandest Chinese New Year celebrations. For more than 150 years, the streets of San Francisco have erupted with incredible parades filled with floats, drummers, dancers and bands, as well as the 201-foot Golden Dragon, presented with an entourage of more than 600,000 firecrackers.
The Emerald City’s Chinatown district will celebrate Chinese New Year on Feb. 1 with five hours of festivities, starting with lion and dragon dances and martial arts performances at 11 a.m. The pan-Asian celebration will include Japanese Taiko drumming, Vietnamese lion dancing and traditional Korean performances as well. While you’re enjoying the performances, you can also sample Asian cuisine at the Lunar New Year Food Walk, a $2 tasting event featuring Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese bites.
New York City
The Big Apple’s 15th Annual Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade and Festival will take over the streets of Manhattan on Feb. 2. The parade kicks off at 1 p.m. and features larger-than-life floats, costumes and acrobatics, with more than 5,000 people taking part in the parade, which will march from Little Italy to Chinatown. If you’re spending the entire weekend in New York City, don’t miss the famed Firecracker Ceremony on Friday, Jan. 31; rockets and firecrackers are lit to celebrate the Lunar New Year, and the explosive processions are followed by a series of cultural performances like lion dancing and drumming.
Where will you be celebrating Chinese New Year?
(Main image: MoonSoleil)