Celebrated for thousands of years in various countries around the world influenced by Chinese civilization, the Lunar New Year remains one of the world’s most celebrated holidays. 2023 is a year of the Water Rabbit, starting from January 22nd, 2023 (Chinese New Year), and ending on February 9th, 2024 (Chinese New Year’s Eve). The sign of Rabbit is a symbol of longevity, peace, and prosperity in Chinese culture. 2023 is predicted to be a year of hope.
The celebration of Chinese New Year is a festive, colorful, loud, and incredibly fun holiday to enjoy, even if you aren’t Chinese. So, check out this list of the Best Lunar New Year Celebrations in Southern California and mark the special occasion by attending one with your family.
Best Lunar New Year Celebrations Near Los Angeles
Lunar New Year Festival, Monterey Park (Jan. 21 – 22)
The city of Monterey Park will ring in the the Year of the Rabbit with this annual 2-day festival. Over the course of five blocks of downtown L.A. streets, festival goers will enjoy everything from Asian cuisine, carnival rides, art, lion dances and much more. Admission is free.
Lunar New Year Celebration, Citadel Outlets, Los Angeles (Jan. 21 – 22)
On Saturday & Sunday, January 21-22,Citadel Outlets will host a Lunar New Year Celebration! Watch exciting lion dances traditionally used to bring good luck and fortune, taking place throughout the center and in Center Court.
Lunar New Year Red Envelope Giveaway, Citadel Outlets, Los Angeles (Jan. 13 – Feb. 13)
Citadel Outlets will be honoring the ancient Chinese “Red Envelope” gifting tradition January 13 – February 13, by giving away red envelopes filled with gift cards and center promotions at the Customer Service Center. The tradition, symbolizing good luck and well wishes for the New Year, is a gift meant to express appreciation for the center’s wonderful shoppers and visitors from all over the world.
Chinese New Year’s Crafts, Robert Louis Stevenson Branch Library, Los Angeles (Jan. 19)
Join us as we celebrate the Chinese New Year with crafts!
2023 Lunar Year Celebration at The Americana at Brand, Glendale (Jan. 17-31)
The festive nature of the holidays continues with the 2023 Lunar New Year! The storied meaning, tradition and symbolism behind this celebration are all apparent in the dazzling décor seen throughout The Americana at Brand.
Celebrate the Year of the Rabbit with can’t-miss offers by some of our top-rated brands and enjoy delicious discounts when you order from your favorite restaurants.
Plus, enjoy a festive parade of lion and dragon dances on January 29 from 2PM — 5PM.
Lunar New Year Celebration at Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica (Jan. 28)
Celebrate the Year of the Rabbit at Santa Monica Place! Join us on Saturday, January 28th from 2-5PM for a free family-friendly event and enjoy cultural performances and art under traditional red and gold lanterns. The celebration, hosted by comedian Paul Kim, includes:
– Lion Dances
– Chinese Dough Artist*
– Balloon Artist*
– Live DJ
– Special Retailer Offers
– and more!
Also visit us January 21 – February 5 to tie your Lunar New Year wish on the Cherry Blossom Wishing Trees and pick up a Lunar New Year craft kit for the kids*.
Join the Port of Los Angeles in celebrating Lunar New Year on the LA Waterfront. This free cultural festival offers free parking and free admission, with live entertainment, arts and crafts, face painting, and more.
Lunar New Year Festival at USC Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena (Jan. 22)
Our annual Lunar New Year festival is back! Join us in celebrating the year of the rabbit with a day of exciting performances and activities for the whole family! Enjoy a traditional lion dance, storytelling, calligraphy and crafts, food trucks, free admission to the museum, and a final chance to view the special exhibition, After Modernism: Through the Lens of Wayne Thom.
Lunar New Year Celebration, The Boys & Girls Club of West San Gabriel Valley, Monterey Park (Jan. 26)
In the Chinese culture, the rabbit is known to be the luckiest out of all the twelve animals in the zodiac. It symbolized mercy, elegance, and beauty. We invite you to join us on January 26th from 7 pm – 8 pm as we celebrate our annual Lunar New Year Drive-thru event.
Lunar New Year Celebration at Original Farmers Market, Los Angeles (Feb. 4)
Join us to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit with spectacular lion dances, arts and crafts, balloon twisting and red envelope giveaways! Event takes place on the Plaza from 2-4pm.
Golden Dragon New Year Parade, Chinatown Central Plaza, Los Angeles (Jan. 28)
For over a hundred years, people have gathered in the streets of Los Angeles’ Chinatown to celebrate Chinese New Year and enjoy the Golden Dragon Parade, a tradition for the past 120 years. The parade includes beautiful floats, marching bands, government officials, various dignitaries, entertainers, local business leaders and cultural groups.
The free outdoor festival that runs throughout the day includes live dancing and music entertainment, cultural artisan classes, vendors, and local food trucks.
Annual Lunar New Year Celebration at Westfield Santa Anita, Arcadia (Jan. 29)
From 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm, enjoy traditional lion dances, live performances, games, raffles, retailer offers, and more.
Chinese New Year Festival at Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens, Pasadena (Feb 4 – 5)
This family-friendly event features lion dancers, a mask-changing artist, martial arts demonstrations, music, art and craft demonstrations, and more. Festivities take place in and around the Chinese Garden and other performance spaces.
Alhambra Lunar New Year Festival, Alhambra (Jan. 29)
The city of Alhambra hosts this one-day-only Lunar New Year street festival to celebrate the new year. The festival has everything from dragon boat rowing stations to children’s workshops, cultural demonstrations, live music, dance, martial arts, and a plethora of Asian food to savor.
Lunar New Year Festival, Monterey Park (Jan. 21 – 22)
Ring in the Lunar New Year in the heart of L.A.’s Chinese community at this annual two-day Monterey Park festival. This street fair takes over five blocks of Downtown Monterey Park with folk art, delectable bites and a carnival zone. The action kicks off Saturday morning with firecrackers and dragon and lion dances. Past fests have brought in over 100,000 people over so plan ahead; the city suggests utilizing the free parking shuttles at Mark Keppel High School (501 E Hellman Ave) and El Repetto Elementary School (650 Grandridge Ave).
L.A. Chinatown Firecracker Run, Chinatown Central Plaza, Chinatown, Los Angeles (Feb. 18 – 19)
Participate in a 5K or 10K run or walk, a one-mile dog walk as well as a 20 or 40-mile bike ride during this Chinatown tradition. All courses start and end at Chinatown Central Plaza, which will host a concurrent family-friendly festival.
San Gabriel Lunar New Year Festival at San Gabriel Mission District, San Gabriel (Feb. 4)
The San Gabriel Lunar New Year Festival combines tradition with modern celebrations, resulting in a unique festival that is enjoyable for all. The free festival will consists of street food fair, marketplace, chalk art contest, and kids zone!
Best Lunar New Year Celebrations Near Orange County
Lunar New Year Celebration at Disney California Adventure, Anaheim (Jan. 20 – Feb. 15)
What better spot to mark the Lunar New Year than “the happiest place on earth”? Disney California Adventure commemorates the Year of the Rabbit with a month of multicultural celebrations. Kids can look forward to photo ops and parade processions with Mulan, Mushu, Raya, Tigger and Mickey and Minnie Mouse, while adults will find a tasty reprieve with treats from China, Korea and Vietnam—available both à la carte and with a six-item “Sip and Savor Pass.” Stick around into the evening for a Lunar New Year-themed prelude to “World of Color.”
Lunar New Year Celebration at Main Place Mall, Santa Ana (Jan. 21
Celebrate the Year of the Rabbit at MainPlace on Saturday, January 21st from 2pm – 5pm. The event will feature an array of cultural activities and performances that will both educate and entertain guests.
Performances by the Union of Vietnamese Student Associations (UVSA), a non-profit community organization that provides a united voice for Vietnamese-American youth and professional leaders from across Southern California.
- Themed Stilt Walkers for Photo Opportunities
- Calligraphy Artist
- Kids Crafts
- Face Painter
- Balloon Twister
Drop by the welcome table in Center Court for giveaways! We will have red envelopes with $2 bills, plush rabbits, and fortune cookies (each while supplies last).
Lunar New Year Celebration at UC Irvine, Irvine (Jan. 17)
UCI’s multicultural celebration is filled with rich traditions such as the red envelope, a colorful parade with an animated dragon and prancing lions. The stage comes to life through musical performances filled with colorful costumes, while guests make wishes for hope, health and happiness at the wishing tree. The festival comes to an end with a wondrous nighttime light show, as a nod to the traditional firecrackers, celebrating the coming of the New Year.
Lunar New Year Celebration at South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa (Jan. 19 – Feb. 5)
It’s a grand New Year at South Coast Plaza as we celebrate the Year of the Rabbit, January 19-February 5. Enjoy festive and photo-friendly Lunar New Year decor at Jewel Court and browse our boutiques for bunny-friendly window displays. Shop for Year of the Rabbit-themed gifts and limited-edition goodies. Enjoy good fortune with drawings, giveaways, and gifts for purchase, and dine in style with exclusive Lunar New Year menus at South Coast Plaza restaurants. Wishing you happiness and prosperity in the Year of the Rabbit.
UVSA Tet Festival at OC Fair & Events Center, Costa Mesa (Jan. 27 – 29)
Celebrate the Lunar Year for 3 straight days at the Test Festival in Costa Mesa! Visitors will enjoy a wide array of traditional food, live entertainment, dance competitions, games, a fire cracker show with lion dancing, karaoke, community performances, as well as a pho eating contest. Saturday Ceremonial Special Free Entrance for people who wear traditional outfits (not including religious outfits), military or a scout uniform (no costumes). Valid only on Saturday from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.
OC Tet Lunar New Year Festival at Miles Square Park, Fountain Valley (Jan. 24 – 26)
The OC Tet Festival marks the beginning of the new year and is the most important celebration in the Vietnamese-American community. This free event will feature live entertainment, lion dances, carnival rides, games for all ages, a firecracker lighting ceremony, Vietnamese cultural performances and a bounty of Vietnamese food.
Join us to celebrate Lunar New Year at Fashion Island as we usher in the New Year with health and happiness! 2023 is The Year of the Rabbit a symbol of longevity, peace, and prosperity.
From January 20 to February 5, enjoy special offers and promotions that will have you hopping with delight! There’s something for everyone on your gift-giving list here at Fashion Island.
Lunar New Year Celebration at Outlets at San Clemente, San Clemente (Jan. 21)
We will be celebrating the Lunar New Year on Saturday, January 21st. The celebration will feature traditional Chinese dance and crafts!
Lunar New Year Concert, Segerstrom Center For The Arts, Costa Mesa (Jan. 28)
Welcome the Year of the Rabbit with our annual Lunar New Year celebration featuring joyous music, festive dance, and a delightful fusion of musical traditions from East and West. Music Director Carl St.Clair conducts.
Celebrate The Year of the Rabbit at Pretend City, Irvine (Jan. 21 – 22)
Make your own Lantern, Learn Asian calligraphy and make pretend dumplings!
Special Performance in the Traveling Exhibit at 11 am. Kishin Daiko Drummers from the East San Grabriel Valley Japanese Community Center performance will include Japanese percussive-style drumming that embodies the translation of Kishin which is energy, spirit, and heart. Kishin Daiko’s music consists of traditional adaptations of traditional Japanese taiko pieces, along with original compositions by contemporary musicians and Kishin members.
Special Performance in the Traveling Exhibit at 2:30 p,: Ane Thanh Lion Dance will be performing traditional Asian dancing including acrobatics and a live instrumental troupe to bring good luck into the new year. Ane Thanh Lion Dance (ATLD) has performed for hundreds of events all across Southern California, from luxury hotel weddings in San Diego to grand-scale auditorium exhibitions in Los Angeles.
Lunar New Year Celebration at Diamond Jamboree Shopping Center, Irvine (Jan. 25)
During the celebration there will a traditional Lunar New Year Lion Dance in the main rotunda area located in front of Lollicup and Chef Hung.
Celebrate Lunar New Year at The District at Tustin Legacy, Tustin (Jan. 25)
Bring your family to celebrate The Year of The Rat at The District at Tustin Legacy’s Lunar New Year Celebration in The Promenade near Union Market Tustin. The free family festivities will feature performances including lion dancers, kid’s crafts, glitter body art, balloon twisting, and a Lucky Red Envelope giveaway to the first 500 guests.
Red Envelope Giveaway at Outlets at San Clemente (Jan. 25 – Feb. 2)
Full of gifts and wonder, the Red Envelope symbolizes good luck and fortune. Pick up your free Lucky Red Envelope from Customer Service for the chance to win special offers and prizes from your favorite brands. Limit one per household while supplies last.
Little Saigon Tet Parade, Garden Grove (Jan. 26)
Little Saigon Tet Parade is the largest and most watched event of its kind in the United States. The parade features marching bands, floats, lion dances, color guards, veterans and youth organizations, martial arts, multi-culture traditional attires from diverse communities, elected officials, Vietnamese Scouting organizations, community organizations, and much more.
Lunar New Year Celebration at OCTA’S Irvine Station, Irvine (Feb. 1)
There are two ways to get a free ride on Metrolink to the Los Angeles Golden Dragon Parade! Be one of the first 200 attending OCTA’s Irvine Station celebration, or enter their Metrolink ticket contest. The festivities at OCTA’s Irvine Station will include a traditional lion dance, prizes, and refreshments.
Lunar New Year Celebration at Irvine Spectrum, Irvine (Feb. 1)
Celebrate Lunar New Year and the Year of the Rat at Irvine Spectrum Center on Saturday, February 1 from 12:00 – 2:00 pm. Activities to take place in the Giant Wheel courtyard include:
- Chinese dragon dance
- Lion Dance
- Greeters distributing fortune cookies
- Lucky envelopes
- Arts & Crafts
The Lunar New Year KidX Event will have crafts, giveaways, and traditional drummers and lion dancers at the lower level court next to John’s Incredible Pizza from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm. Registration required for this free event.
Lunar New Year Celebration at Cerritos Towne Center, Cerritos (Feb. 2)
This free event will include two Chinese Lion Dance performances, kid’s crafts, balloon art, Lunar New Year specials, and the first 500 people will receive lucky red envelopes.
Chinese New Year Festival at Bowers Museum, Santa Ana (Feb. 2)
Celebrate the Year of the Rat with dance, music and art from China, Vietnam and Korea. Dragon and lion dances by JC Culture will welcome in the new year. Enjoy a sample egg roll while creating paper lanterns and art scroll projects as you contemplate the diligence and positivity of those born in the year of the Rat. Free admission.
Lantern Festival 2020 at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa (Feb. 22)
Bring the entire family and join us for Pacific Symphony’s annual Lantern Festival, celebrating the Year of the Rat! The Lantern Festival, which can be traced back 2,000 years, takes place 15 days after the Lunar New Year—on the first full moon night in the lunar calendar—and marks the return of spring, representing the reunion of family.
The act of lighting and appreciating lanterns is a way for people to let go of the burdens of their old selves and express their best wishes for themselves and their families for the future.
You’ll have the opportunity to decorate your very own lantern, take in live music, try your hand at solving a riddle, take a Chinese folk dance lesson and more! Admission is free, but tickets are required.
Best Chinese New Year Celebrations in the Inland Empire
Lunar New Year Gathering at All Saints Episcopal Church, Riverside (Jan. 22)
Celebrate the Lunar New Year – the year of the rat! Join us after our regular Wednesday night yoga and meditation for a meet up with beautiful friends and good cheer. Beverages and sweet treats provided. Your loved ones are also welcome to attend.
Riverside Lunar Festival at Mission Inn Avenue, Riverside (Jan. 25 – 26)
The Riverside Lunar Festival will have over 100+ food and merchandise vendors, spectacular live performances, and fun Lunar surprises. Be sure to check out the Lion Dancers, Chinese instrument orchestra, and Shaolin Kung Fu. Best of all, the event is free!
Lunar New Year Festival at Ontario Mills, Ontario (Jan. 31 – Feb. 2)
Ontario Mills is ringing in the Lunar New Year with a family-friendly festival including face painting, Lion Dancers, Kung Fu and more! The Year of the Rat celebration at Ontario Mills will include:
- Spin the Wheel Prize Giveaways
- Musical Performances
- Stilt Walkers
- Photo Booth
- Lion Dance Performances
- Kung Fu Performances
- Face Painting
- Balloon Twisters
Best Lunar New Year Festivals Near San Diego
Lunar New Year at SeaWorld San Diego, San Diego (Jan. 11 – Feb. 2, select dates)
San Diego Lunar New Year Festival at Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego (Jan. 17 – 19)
The Lunar New Year is an important Asian holiday that has been celebrated for thousands of years throughout the world, especially in Asia. The festival includes an array of exotic food stations, unique vendor booths, cultural village, non-stop live entertainment and concerts, dog costume contest, carnival rides, Pho eating contest, plus traditional martial arts demonstrations and Lion Dance performances, firecrackers show. Ticketed event. Free parking.
San Diego Midnight Lion Dance Show, San Diego (Jan. 24)
Come celebrate the Year of the Rat at the 2020 San Diego Midnight Lion Dance Show featuring incense, loud firecrackers, traditional Chinese drumming and a spectacular Lion Dance show.
Chinese New Year Festival at House of China at Balboa Park, San Diego (Jan. 24 – 26)
Come celebrate the Chinese New Year at the International Cottages in Balboa Park. An array of lisee, hongbao and red envelopes will be￼ handed out at the House of China craft booth.
San Diego Tet Festival at Mira Mesa Community Park, San Diego (Jan. 24 – 26)
The San Diego Tet Festival is the longest running Vietnamese Lunar New Year festival in San Diego and attracts more than 20,000 people over the course of the three-day celebration each year. The festival is popular due to its free admission and variety of cultural attractions, activities, games, food and live entertainment, as well as lion dancing, martial arts, firecrackers, and our most popular program, the Miss Vietnam of San Diego pageant.
Annual Lunar New Year Lion Dance & Firecracker Show at World Foods Supermarket, San Diego (Feb. 2)
Come join us for our 16th annual Lunar New Year Lion Dance and Firecracker show. It’s free and fun for all ages. Come early to get a front row seat and see all the action.
The Shanghai Chinese Orchestra at Jacobs Music Center / Copley Symphony Hall, San Diego (Feb. 3)
Celebrate the Lunar New Year with the beauty of Chinese music played on traditional instruments. With the sounds of bowed and plucked strings, winds and percussion, the Shanghai Chinese Orchestra evokes vivid imagery of China’s splendor in a vibrant performance of traditional folksongs and newly orchestrated works. A fascinating musical evening in which East meets West.
The San Diego Chinese New Year Fair showcases exciting performances, Asian art and culture, an array of delicious Chinese and Asian food, and much more.
San Diego Chinese New Year Fair at Third Avenue and J Street, San Diego (Feb. 8 – 9)
This annual two-day fair is hosted by the San Diego Chinese Center with over 50 food and commercial booths with continuous live performances on stage, lion and dragon dancers, cultural displays, and children’s arts and crafts.
How do you celebrate Lunar New Year in Southern California? Did I miss any events? If so, please let me know in the comment section below!
Happy Lunar New Year!