For some - the new year begins as soon as the clock strikes midnight on December 31. Throughout East and Southeast Asian countries and the respective diaspora however - the new year starts with the first new moon. For 2023 - Sunday, January 22 rings in the lunar calendar’s Year of the Rabbit. Lunar New Year is the biggest celebration of the year for many Asian cultures - spanning China, Korea, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam, and areas that boast large immigrant populations.
Lasting FIFTEEN DAYS - Philly will celebrate with firecrackers and lion dances in Chinatown - plus feasting and performances throughout the city. Check out these FREE/LOW COST EVENTS and how to get there on SEPTA!
Lunar New Year at Dilworth Park
On Saturday, January 21 head to Dilworth Park from 5PM to 7PM to watch a procession of prancing lions and traditional Chinese dancers as you taste the Lunar New Year-inspired menu in the Rothman Orthopaedics Cabin. Inside - the first 100 guests will receive a lucky red envelope containing secret prizes. Ice skating sessions will be available throughout the evening. Hop the Market-Frankford Line or Trolley Routes 10, 11, 13, 34, or 36 to 15th Street, the Broad Street Line to City Hall, Bus Routes 2, 4, 17, 27, 32, 33, 38, 44, 48, 124 or 125 or Regional Rail to Suburban Station.
Culturefest! at Penn Museum
The Penn Museum hosts its annual Lunar New Year celebration from 10AM to 4PM on Saturday, January 21 in partnership with the American Chinese Museum. Watch UPenn’s Chinese lion dance troupe, the Penn Lions, and other traditional and contemporary music and dance performances. An event for all ages - there will be storytelling and make-and-take activities like traditional paper-cutting and Year of the Rabbit crafts. Tickets for one-hour-entry windows are $18. Purchase online. Hop Regional Rail to Penn Medicine Station [the museum is across the street!] or Routes 21, 30, 40, 42, or 49.
Main Line Art Center Lunar New Year Celebration
Ring in the Lunar New Year at the Main Line Art Center in Haverford from 11AM to 1PM on Saturday, January 21. A performance by the Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers (a nonprofit dance company based in Philly) will be in the gallery. The Philly Suns lion dance group will perform as well. After the performances, check out the hands-on art activities with your family. Register online. Main Line Art Center is a 10-minute walk from Haverford Station on the Paoli/Thorndale Line. From the Haverford Station Road station - walk out to Lancaster Avenue/Route 30 and turn right. Walk past The Haverford School on your left and turn left on North Buck Lane then turn right onto Old Buck Lane. Main Line Art Center will be on your left at the corner of Old Buck Lane and Panmure Road.
2023 Lunar New Year Parades
The annual Lunar New Year’s Eve Parade starts at 10PM on Saturday, January 21 and the annual Lunar New Year’s Day Parade starts at 10AM Sunday, January 22. Both parades begin at 10th & Spring Street with the Philly Suns lion dance group leading the way through Chinatown. The traditional Lion Dance and lighting of firecrackers bring good fortune and luck to the businesses in the community. Expect dancing, drumming, music, and more. Get here on SEPTA! Hop Regional Rail to Jefferson Station, Market-Frankford Line to 11th Street, or Bus Routes 17, 23, 33, 38, 44, 48, 61, 62, or 78
Lunar New Year at the Rail Park
Enjoy a free, family-friendly event with activities, light refreshments, and lion dance performances hosted by the Rail Park, Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corp., Asian Arts Initiative, Philadelphia Suns, and the Callowhill Neighborhood Association on Saturday, January 28 from 1PM to 3PM RSVP online. Hop Routes 2, 4, 16, 23, 45, 61 or the Broad Street Line to Spring Garden Station.
Free Library of Philadelphia Celebration
The Pennsylvania Asian Institute and the Free Library Philadelphia invite you to come out at 1PM on Saturday, January 28 for an afternoon of music and dance performances, a children’s taekwondo demonstration, a cultural fashion show, and more at the library. Hop Regional Rail to Suburban Station or Bus Routes 7, 32, 33, 38, or 48.
Happy New Year!