Where to Celebrate the Lunar New Year Around Philly and the Main Line
The Year of the Dog starts February 16.
The Year of the Dog begins on February 16, but the Lunar New Year celebrations begin as early as this weekend! From parades to all-day festivals, there is so much to do around town to bring in the New Year. Gong xi fa cai!
January 27, 11 am — 4 pm
3260 South St., Philadelphia
Celebrate the upcoming Year of the Dog with a full schedule of family-friendly activities. The museum’s celebration includes traditional Chinese music and dance, storytelling, calligraphy workshop, crafts, martial arts demonstrations, and more. There will also be a Chinese marketplace in the rotunda and zodiac animal photo ops all day.
February 3, 2 — 4 pm
Asian Arts Initiative, 1219 Vine St., Philadelphia
Join local artist Colette Fu at the Asian Arts Initiative to create intricate pop-up Year of the Dog cards. The event is free, but pre-registration is required.
February 10, 10 am–3 pm
222 N. 20th Street, Philadelphia
See the Terracotta Warriors before they leave the Franklin Institute, and enjoy a day of colorful performances by the Penn Lions, various crafts, including kite and lantern making, make-your-own clay dogs with The Clay Studio, and explosive fiery demonstrations of the science behind fireworks.
February 14, 6:30 pm
Philadelphia City Institute, 1905 Locust St., Philadelphia
Philadelphia musician and author Qi- Gong, and Erhu educator Qin Qian will perform traditional Chinese music and Western music played on the erhu (a two-string bowed musical instrument) to celebrate the New Year.
February 15, 4 pm
Free Library of Philadelphia, Northeast Regional Branch, 2228 Cottman Ave., Philadelphia
Celebrate Chinese New Year with stories, and crafts, and treats.
February 15, 7 pm
International House Philadelphia, 3701 Chestnut St., Philadelphia
The evening celebration includes the Lion Dance and show of traditional music, dance performances, and martial arts demonstrations, followed by a reception featuring tastings of traditional Chinese cuisine. Note: Though it’s not listed on the website, children’s tickets are available for $5. Call the Box Office to purchase at the discounted price.
February 17, 11 am — 3 pm
Independence Seaport Museum, 211 S. Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia
Celebrate the Lunar New Year and learn about the heritages of Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Japanese cultures. There will be lots of crafts for kids to do like creating dragon puppets, lanterns, and a Year of the Dog drum. Throughout the day there will also be storytimes on the Schooner Diligence. Best of all, in honor of the Year of the Dog, PAWS (Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society) will be there with adoptable dogs!
February 17, 10 am — 2 pm
Reading Terminal Market, 51 N. 12th St., Philadelphia
Reading Terminal Market’s celebration features cultural performances, including a traditional Lion Dance around the market by the Philadelphia Suns. There will also be cooking demonstrations in City Kitchen, children’s art activities, and Chinatown vendors.
February 17, 10 am — 5 pm
Please Touch Museum, 4231 Avenue of the Republic, Philadelphia
Practice ancient Chinese calligraphy, make a New Year’s wish, and dance with a lion at this joyful family festival.
February 17, noon — 1 pm
Margaret Kuo’s, 6 W. State St., Media
The Hung Gar Kung Fu Academy will be there performing the Lion Dance, and leading the parade down State Street.
February 17, noon — 1 pm
Elmwood Park Zoo, 1661 Harding Blvd., Norristown
This event takes place in the zoo’s Canopy Gardens, and includes crafts, live animal greetings featuring “animals of the zodiac”, and educational program, and the chance to try on a dragon mask!
February 18, 11 am
10th and Spring streets, Philadelphia
Chinatown’s New Year parade features the Philadelphia Suns’ Lion Dance with lots of drums, firecrackers, and colorful excitement. Note: this parade might be difficult for small kids or those with sensory issues because there is a lot of smoke and loud noise from the firecrackers.
February 18, 1 — 5 pm
Great Valley High School, 225 Phoenixville Pike, Malvern
This free celebration starts with a show featuring Chinese folk dance, traditional Chinese music and poetry, and martial arts. Following the performance is a fair with games, crafts, food, and more.
February 21, 12:30 pm
Free Library of Philadelphia, Independence Branch, 18 S. 7th St., Philadephia
Students from Holy Redeemer Elementary School will perform traditional Chinese folk dances, including the Lion Dance to usher a year of good luck. There will also be a storytime featuring Chinese folklore tales.
Photographs by Laura Swartz.