Gung hay fat choy! The Lunar New Year, which officially begins Feb. 16, will trigger festivals and parades across the U.S. as millions welcome the Year of the Dog. The holiday is observed by much of Asia.
Wondering where you can join in on the celebration?
The city, home to one of the nation’s largest Chinese and Chinese American populations, puts on the oldest and biggest Chinese New Year event outside Asia, with an annual parade through Chinatown. Started in the 1860s, the event now attracts more than two million spectators. This year, the Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade is bringing its first-ever celebrity Grand Marshal in Michelle Yeoh, who will next appear in the upcoming film “Crazy Rich Asians.” Feb. 24.
Los Angeles’ first Chinatown was established in the 1880s near Union Station, and moved to its current location in New Chinatown in the 1930s. The Golden Dragon Parade, now in its 119th year, is the largest event of its kind in Southern California. According to the parade website, the parade includes floats, marching bands, entertainers, community leaders and cultural groups. Feb. 17.
New York City
The largest Chinese population outside of Asia resides in the New York metro area. The 19th Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade & Festival, the largest such annual event, is held in Manhattan’s Chinatown and filled with dancing lions and colorful confetti. Feb. 25.
Chicago’s annual Lunar New Year Parade in its Chinatown promises marching bands, floats, lion dances and “a special appearance by Ronald McDonald.” Feb. 25.
Washington, D.C.’s first Chinatown was located on Pennsylvania Avenue and established in the 1880s, but later displaced to its current location. The DC Chinese New Year’s Parade includes lion and dragon dances, martial arts demonstrations, music and firecrackers. Feb. 18.
Texas’ largest celebration of its kind is Lunar New Year Houston, which this year will feature lion dance teams, martial arts and music. Feb. 24-25.
What celebrations are underway for Lunar New Year in your city?