Chinese New Year Festival – Year of the Dog
Location: 2191 W. Pan American Road
Date and Time: February 3 and 4 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
All ages welcome
For most people in the United States, New Years celebrations end early on the first day of January each year. However, for people with Chinese heritage, the New Year celebration starts a little later in the year. The date rotates annually, because the celebration is based on the lunar calendar. In fact, the celebration is sometimes called the Chinese Lunar New Year.
It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Balboa Park is hosting one of the biggest and most exciting Chinese New Year events in San Diego. After all, from their annual Marker’s Faire to the multi-cultural holiday celebration that lasts through most of December, the park often celebrates the diverse groups of people who call San Diego home and make it such a magical city.
This New Year Celebration Is Fun for the Whole Family
Unlike many Western New Years celebrations, which focus on alcohol and thus, are adults-only events, Chinese New Year celebrations tend to involve whole families. The upcoming Chinese New Year Festival is certainly no exception. This fantastic celebration will feature a host of engaging opportunities, from fresh food to a fashion show highlighting traditional Chinese clothing.
You can bring your kids, your parents or even a date to this two-day celebration hosted by the House of China from Balboa Park’s International Cottages. Once you arrive, you will find colorful decorations, food and craft vendors, cultural performances including a Lion Dance and even calligraphy instruction for those who want to try their hand at it.
Crafts, Shopping, Entertainment and Food for All
Foods you can certainly expect to find include bao, which are steamed buns, often filled with seasoned pork, as well as fresh dumplings, beef barbecue, skewers, rice, egg rolls, noodles, moon cakes and boba (tapioca pearl) drinks. Be sure to bring cash with you, as the food vendors, as well as the people selling crafts, will be too tempting to pass up!
There will also be red envelopes, which are often used to present money gifts on special occasions, including holidays like New Years. The red color is meant to bring good luck to the recipient and ward off evil spirits. Traditionally, gifts of money should be in even numbers, such as $2 or $10. Odd number cash gifts are usually reserved for funerals.
You can register ahead of time online to secure you place at the event. Admission is free, so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t stop by to experience this lovely festival!