The Chinese New Year falls on Friday, January 31 and brings a ton of festive events to Chinatown and beyond during the upcoming few weeks. (Photo by M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia)
This year’s Chinese New Year parades into town on Friday, January 31 and ushers in a slew of super-festive events before and after the holiday.
In all corners of the city, traditional Chinese performances, educational experiences and food-centric events take the spotlight during the upcoming weeks in honor of the Lunar New Year.
This year marks the Year of the Horse, and for those born during a previous Year of the Horse (1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002), you’re in luck, it’s going to be a great year.
Celebrate Chinese culture with friends and family at high-spirited events throughout Philadelphia.
Our picks for Chinese New Year celebrations, below.
• Chinatown Flower Market: January 25-26, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Chinatown Flower Market, an alfresco market displaying an array of decorative goods, sets up shop at 10th and Vine streets on January 25 and 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Browse candy, gifts, lanterns, flowers and more.
• World Culture Day: Chinese New Year at The Penn Museum: Saturday, January 25, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Every year, the Penn Museum raises a hat to the Chinese New Year with an annual celebration. On Saturday, January 25 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., take part in tons of family-friendly events to help ring in the New Year. Take part in a Year of the Horse craft, language classes, calligraphy and much more. Also, look forward to a kung-fu demonstration, Ba’z Tai Chi demonstration and more. The full list of events is available here and the event is free with museum admission ($15, general admission).
• New Year’s Eve Midnight Parade And Lion Dance Performance: Thursday, January 30, 11:30 p.m. On Chinese New Year’s Eve, or Thursday, January 30 at 11:30 p.m., the Philadelphia Suns are set to perform a lion dance starting at 10th and Race streets that winds through the streets of Chinatown. Welcome the Year of the Horse with firecrackers as the dancers parade through town.
• Chinese Lunar New Year Banquet at Rising Tide Restaurant: Friday, January 31, 6-9 p.m. Celebrate the first day of the Year of the Horse, January 31, with a traditional 10-course feast celebrating the culture of China. Also, look forward to live performances throughout the evening. The banquet is set to take place at Rising Tide Restaurant from 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $65 per person and registration is required. Click here for ticket and registration information.
• Chinese New Year at Bar Ferdinand: Friday, January 31. Seven courses of Chinese New Year inspired tapas fill the menu at Bar Ferdinand in Northern Liberties on Friday, January 31. Indulge in menu items including salmon tartare with black bean vinaigrette and chilled sesame noodles with chilies. Dinner is $45 per person plus tax and gratuity and reservations are required. Call to secure your spot.
• Lunar New Year at the Independence Seaport Museum: Saturday, February 1. The Lunar New Year festivities at the Independence Seaport Museum span beyond Chinese cultural events, and incorporate Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese cultures through dance performances and crafts. Activities are included in museum admission.
• Chinese New Year Special at Buddakan: February 1-9. Old City’s Buddakan dishes out a special Chinese New Year meal from February 1 to 9. For $14 indulge in a trio of varied dumplings (your pick!) — including crab and lobster dumplings and General Tso’s dumplings. Additional menu items include orange rice pudding and hoisin glazed pork belly.
• Philadelphia Sun’s Lion Dance Parade: Sunday, February 2, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Kicking off at 11 a.m. on Sunday, February 2, the streets of Chinatown come alive with a Philadelphia Suns lion dance performance, martial arts performances, firecrackers and even more merriment throughout the heart of Chinatown. The parade begins at 10th and Spring streets and continues from there.
• Chinese New Year at Sampan: February 4-14. Celebrate the Year of the Horse at Sampan as it dishes out a family-style, prix-fixe menu for $55 per person. Sample a four-course meal consisting of numerous plates per course. Look forward to items including Vietnamese egg roll, steamed striped bass, long noodles and mochi ice cream. On February 6 and 13, the Pennsylvania Chinese dance club will entertain diners. Take note, there is a two people minimum for the dinner. Reservations are suggested.
• Chinese Lunar New Year Banquet at Sang Kee Peking Duck House: Wednesday, February 5, 6-9 p.m. For those who missed the first banquet (or are just craving more food and culture), head to Sang Kee Peking Duck House on February 5 from 6 to 9 p.m. for another 10-course feast and more live performances celebrating Chinese culture. Tickets are $65 per person registration is required. Click here for ticket and registration information.
• Lunar New Year Celebration at International House: Friday, February 7, 7 p.m. On Friday, February 7, head to the International House Philadelphia for its annual Lunar New Year party. The event honors age-old Chinese traditions with traditional cultural performances, food and a lion dance. Ticket are $8 to $12 and available online.
• Chinese New Year at The Free Library of Philadelphia Independence Branch: Wednesday, February 12, 12:30 p.m. Festivities continue on February 12 at the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Independence Branch. The library hosts children from Holy Redeemer Elementary School for traditional Chinese folk dances and a lion dance. Also, enjoy Chinese folk tales at the afternoon bash.