Celebrate the Year of the Snake with a slew of activities put on by the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation and other establishments in Philadelphia. The Chinese New Year officially starts on Sunday, February 10, 2013, so get ready to say goodbye to the old and hello to the new with parades, live performances, and more!
• Chinese New Year Celebration at the Penn Museum: All day long on Saturday, February 2, the Penn Museum is hosting a slew of events for people of all ages to celebrate the Year of the Snake. There will be live dance performances, lectures on different aspects of Chinese history, crafts, and more. The events go from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
• Chinatown Flower Market: The Chinatown Flower Market is back for its second hurrah on Saturday, February 9, from 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. The event will take place at 10th Street Plaza, located at 10th and Vine Streets. The flower market pays homage to the Chinese tradition of welcoming the New Year with fresh flowers and treats. This year’s market will include an array of items. Choose from flowers, handmade lanterns, candy and red envelopes. The market will also include a children’s craft area.
• Midnight Lion Dance Performance: The midnight lion dance performance will start at 11 p.m. on Saturday, February 9, and will smoothly bring guests into the New Year. The midnight performance will take place at 10th and Race Streets.
• The Philadelphia Suns Lion Dance Parade: From 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Sunday, February 10, check out the Philadelphia suns lion dance parade. The parade will start at 10th and Spring streets and will wind through Chinatown
• Martial Arts Performance: In addition to the festive parade happening on Sunday, February 10, also take a look at an impressive martial arts performance happening at 10th and Arch Streets.
• Chinese New Year at the Free Library of Philadelphia: The Free Library of Philadelphia’s Independence Branch is hosting two events to celebrate the Chinese New Year. First, on Wednesday, February 13 at 4:30 p.m., Penn Chinese Dance Club, UPenn’s Chinese dance troupe, will perform classical Chinese dances. On the following Wednesday, February 20 at 12:30 p.m., students from Holy Redeemer elementary school will perform Chinese folk dances to welcome the Year of the Snake. Guests will also get to listen to Chinese folktales from a librarian at the Free Library.
• 47th Anniversary Chinese New Year Banquet: Ocean City Restaurant is hosting their annual Chinese New Year dinner celebration on Friday, February 15 from 5:30- 9 p.m. Registration is available online.
• Lunar New Year Party at International House Philadelphia: On Friday, February 15 at 7:30 p.m. head over to the International House Philadelphia for their annual Lunar New Year party. The event will honor age-old Chinese traditions with traditional cultural performances and the lion dance. There will also be plenty of food for the taking.
Check out the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation’s official site for the latest on Chinese New Year events happening in Chinatown and beyond.