A Chinese cultural thread has long run through California, dating back to the Gold Rush period. This year, Chinese astrology will celebrate the Year of the Goat/Sheep, which means that people who were born in 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003 or 2015 will enjoy an especially healthy and lucky year. Here’s a round-up of golden ways to welcome the February 19 new lunar year in California throughout the month:
Festivals, Events & Parades
San Francisco Chinese New Year Festival & Parade
Named one of the top ten Parades in the world, theSouthwest Airlines® Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco is one of the few remaining nighttime illuminated parades in the country. Started in the 1860′s by Chinese living in San Francisco as a means to educate the community about their culture, the parade and festival have grown to be the largest celebration of Asian culture outside of Asia. Since 1958, the parade has been under the direction of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce. Over 100 units will participate in the Southwest Airlines® Chinese New Year Parade 6:00-8:00pm Saturday, March 7. A San Francisco tradition since just after the Gold Rush, the parade continues to delight and entertain the hundreds of thousands of people who come to watch it live or tune in to watch it on television on KTVU Fox 2 or KTSF Channel 26.
Stockton’s 37th Chinese New Year Festival & Parade
This annual cultural celebration will take place downtown Sunday, Mar. 1, and will feature a parade, dance performances, food, vendors and much more free family fun.
Tết Festival at Qualcomm Stadium
The Tet Festival on Feb. 20 – 22 is the premier pan-Asian new year festival in San Diego. The Lunar New Year celebration held at Qualcomm Stadium includes dragon dancers, Asian food, a beer garden and multiple entertainment options. Proceeds will go directly to the Little Saigon San Diego Foundation, a non-profit community development organization.
San Diego’s 33rd Annual Chinese New Year and Cultural Fair
The Chinese New Year Food and Cultural Fair will take place Feb. 21 & 22 at Third and J Street in downtown San Diego. This is a free, fun-filled event featuring cultural performances, children’s crafts, a lantern parade and a wide variety of Chinese and Asian food booths. Visitors can also stop by the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum to learn about San Diego Chinatown’s history to enjoy the traditional garden with a koi pond.
The Americana at Brand in Los Angeles
On Sunday, Feb. 15 from 2-5 p.m., The Americana at Brand will be transformed into a grand celebration of cheer and good fortune with a Happy New Year Parade including traditional lion and dragon performances, Chinese and Korean folk dancers, stilt walkers, drummers and more. Following the parade, a Chinese dragon dance will scare away bad luck and welcome good fortune to all. Cultural acts with dancing ribbons, fans, swords, masks and powerful drums will take place on The Green.
Palm Springs Art Museum
To celebrate the Lunar Year, Palm Springs Art Museum is focusing on the new Ai WeiWei exhibition in the month of February, and on Feb. 8, the family activity will be about Chinese Zodiac, and the Artists in Action is about natural brush as an art form and function. Also on Feb. 8, there will be a showing of the film Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, the first feature-length film about the internationally renowned Chinese artist and activist, Ai Weiwei.
Lunar Flower Fest in Sacramento
Sacramento’s Lunar Flower Fest event on Feb. 14-15 offers a festive atmosphere in which the community can purchase their annual Lunar New Year flowers and produce while enjoying music, art and cultural displays. The celebration will take place Saturday, Feb. 14 10am – 8pm and Sunday, Feb. 15 10am – 6pm at Little Saigon Plaza in Sacramento.
Midnight Temple Ceremony in Chinatown, Los Angeles
Downtown L.A.’s historic Chinatown welcomes the Year of the Sheep with a traditional celebration at Thien Hau Temple. The midnight temple ceremony takes place from 10pm-1am on Chinese New Year’s Eve, Wednesday, Feb. 18. Attendees can participate in traditional incense burning, make offerings to deities, watch lion dances and enjoy 500,000 firecrackers in action at one of L.A.’s grandest temples. The ceremony is free and open to the public.
Chinese New Year Festival in Chinatown, Los Angeles
The annual Los Angeles Chinese New Year Festival is taking place in downtown LA’s Chinatown on Saturday, Feb. 21. The landmark Central and West Plazas will feature live music and cultural performances, cultural artisans, vendors, gourmet food trucks and a craft beer garden. Admission to all festival events will be free.
Lunar New Year Festival at Port of Los Angeles
The inaugural Lunar New Year Festival at the Port of Los Angeles is taking place on Saturday, Feb. 21 3-7 p.m. The free event features cultural entertainment, lion dancers, crafts, food trucks and a spectacular fireworks finale. During the festival the popular Waterfront Red Car Line vintage trolleys will offer free rides.
Lunar New Year at SeaWorld
In keeping with the Chinese tradition of wishing good fortune and happiness to family and friends, Sea World will celebrate with Lunar New Year at SeaWorld Feb. 13–16, Feb. 21–22 and Feb. 28–Mar. 1. SeaWorld San Diego’s Festival Village will feature Asian-inspired culinary offerings and a community stage presented by Coca-Cola featuring cultural performances celebrating Asia, such as Taiko drummers and fan dancers. Also, the Chinese Acrobats of Hebei will perform 25-minute shows at Mission Bay Theater. And, each guest will receive a red envelope with a special gift inside.
Wine & Dine
Temple of Kwan Tai Chinese New Year’s Banquet
Celebrate the Year of the Sheep in style with a banquet on Mendocino’s beautiful coast on Feb. 14. The Temple of Kwan Tai, reputedly the oldest “original” Chinese Joss House in rural California, will offer a traditional Chinese menu ($40/person) that will be accompanied by a silent auction and no-host bar.
Exclusive Culinary Celebration at Eight Cuisine & Wine in Sebastopol
Dutton-Goldfield Winery is partnering with Eight Cuisine & Wine and Devil’s Gulch Ranch for an exclusive celebration of the Year of the Sheep. The chef is featuring lamb from Devil’s Gulch Ranch prepared with the flavors and spices of Asia and paired with Dutton-Goldfield Devil’s Gulch vineyard pinot noir. The event will be held at Eight Cuisine & Wine on Saturday Mar. 7 at 6pm. Reservations required.
Wishing Tree at Beverly Center
Throughout February, the Beverly Center celebrates the Year of the Sheep by transforming its Center Court into a stunning interpretation of a traditional Wishing Tree - highlighting customary Spring Festival elements, along with sheep-themed decorations and symbols of good fortune. At Guests Services, enter for a chance to win a $500 shopping spree. Throughout the month, guests will receive a red envelope enclosed with a $25 Beverly Center Gift Card at Guest Services (while supplies last) when they show same-day receipts of $500 or more from any Beverly Center retailer. Guests who spend $1,000 or more will receive a $50 Beverly Center Gift Card (same day purchases only).
Shopping at The Grove and The Americana at Brand
Two of L.A.’s top shopping destinations, The Grove and The Americana at Brand, are celebrating the Year of the Sheep with Chinese décor conceptualized by Stephen Stefanou of Venue Arts. Throughout the month of February, guests will see hand-formed fan sculptures, brilliant red Chinese New Year lanterns, giant Moso bamboo poles, Qilin Foo Dogs and a bright horticulture garden at The Grove.
Citadel Outlets’ 2-Day Chinese New Year Celebration
Throughout the month of February, Citadel Outlets’ center court will transform into an authentic Chinese garden with hanging red and yellow lanterns, patio lighting more. The main festivities, taking place on Saturday, Feb. 21 and Sunday, Feb. 22, include a traditional Chinese Garden and décor designed by Descanso Gardens, more than 40 live dancers and artists from the Los Angeles Chinese Cultural Center and performances Feb. 21 from 12 – 3pm including Chinese lion dances, folk dances, traditional songs and drummers. Feb. 19-22, Citadel Outlets will be honoring the ancient Chinese “Red Envelope” tradition by giving away between 500-1000 red envelopes filled with gift cards and promotions.
Chinese New Year Packages in Beverly Hills
Several Beverly Hills hotels are offering Chinese New Year room packages, including Avalon Beverly Hills, The Beverly Hilton, L’Ermitage Beverly Hills, Maison 140 and Montage Beverly Hills. These hotel packages welcome guests with Chinese amenities like a hot water kettle with Chinese tea, Chinese newspaper, slippers, almond or sesame cookies, in-room Chinese breakfast dining options and more. Hotel packages will be available through the end of February.
Lunar New Year Festival in Los Angeles
Enjoy special hotel room rates for the Lunar New Year Festival and experience San Pedro and the Port of Los Angeles. The special rate at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel San Pedro – Los Angeles is $132 plus tax. Call 310.514.3344 ext. 423 and mention “Lunar New Year Festival.” For the Crowne Plaza Los Angeles Harbor Hotel, email Reservations and mention the “Lunar New Year Festival” for the special room rate of $119 plus tax.
Lunar New Year in Carmel
The Carmel Mission Inn invites guests to greet the New Year with The Good Luck Package including guestroom accommodations, breakfast for two and a Red Envelope inspired welcome amenity bag. The Fuse Lounge, the onsite restaurant, will host a Lunar New Year themed Happy Hour featuring eight lucky dishes on Feb. 19 5pm – 7pm.
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