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. 2020 marks the Year of the Rat, the first of all zodiac animals. In Chinese culture, rats are seen as a sign of wealth, surplus and luxury.
This year’s Lunar New Year falls on Jan. 25, based on the appearance of the new moon. The holiday climaxes with the Lantern Festival, which falls on Feb. 8, 15 days after the new moon.
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. 11 – 12)
The city of Monterey Park will ring in the the Year of the Rat with this annual 2-day festival. Over the course of five blocks of downtown L.A. streets, festivalgoers will enjoy everything from Asian cuisine, carnival rides, art, lion dances and much more. Admission is free.
Listen to a story, make a paper lantern, and learn the easy brush painting technique of sumi-e as you celebrate Chinese New Year at the library. Snacks provided. All ages welcome.
Lunar New Year Red Envelope Giveaway, Citadel Outlets, Los Angeles (Jan. 15 – Feb. 16)
Citadel Outlets will be honoring the ancient Chinese “Red Envelope” gifting tradition January 15 – February 16, 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.
Acclaimed musicians from China and the US will be performing at this event to celebrate the 2020 New Year concert. The concert will be held at Bonita Center of the Arts on Jan 17th from 7:00 – 9:30 pm. Tickets available online.
9th Annual Chinese New Year Celebration in Beverly Hills at Saban Theatre, Beverly Hills (Jan. 18)
The Chinese New Year celebration in Beverly Hills showcases traditional craftsmanship, performing arts and culture. The 2020 Chinese New Year event will be divided into three parts: a variety show, a “Jing-Jin-Ji” photo exhibition and a cultural heritage crafts display and demonstration.
The variety show will feature performance groups from Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei with Chinese acrobatics, martial arts, folk dance, traditional music, Peking opera and more. The cultural heritage crafts display and demonstration will include Chinese culture painting and folk arts. During the VIP reception, guests can engage in a ceremonial tea service and paper cutting demonstration, while enjoying folk music and elaborate Peking Opera costumes.
Chinese New Year Celebration at Granada Hills Branch Library, Granada Hills (Jan. 18)
Come learn about traditional Chinese Music and Culture from musician Jie Ma. All ages are welcome. Free.
Lunar New Year Celebration at Lincoln Heights Branch Library, Lincoln Heights (Jan. 18)
Celebrate the Year of the Rat at the library while you learn more about the Chinese zodiac and make your own calendar to take home. Children of all ages are welcome. Free.
2020 Lunar Year Celebration at The Americana at Brand, Glendale (Jan. 19)
Celebrate the Year of the Metal Rat with lively performances, gourmet food, and cultural activities on The Green. This event is complimentary and open to the public from 2:00 – 5:00 pm.
Chinese New Year Spring Couplets Writing at Los Angeles Central Library, Los Angeles (Jan. 21)
Join us for a Chinese New Year Spring Couplets writing program. Free for all ages.
Lunar New Year at Universal Studios Hollywood, Hollywood (Jan. 23 – Feb. 9)
Celebrate the Year of the Rat during Lunar New Year at Universal Studios Hollywood. Join Po and Tigress from DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda in Po’s Village and savor Asian dishes at Mr. Ping’s Noodle Shop. Meet Hello Kitty, Illumination’s Minions in traditional Chinese attire and Mandarin-speaking Megatron from TRANSFORMERS. Plus, enjoy fun activities, live entertainment and more.
Midnight Temple Ceremony at Thien Hau Temple, Los Angeles (Jan. 24)
LA Chinatown kicks off the Year of the Rat at Thien Hau Temple where attendees can experience traditional incense burning, make offerings to deities, watch traditional lion dancers, and witness 500,000 firecrackers in action.
Chinese New Year: Shanghai Nights at the Queen Mary, Long Beach (Jan. 25)
Celebrate Chinese New Year 2020 aboard the majestic Queen Mary! Chinese New Year: Shanghai Nights will celebrate the Year of the Rat with traditional Chinese culture, cuisine, and exhilarating entertainment. Located in the beautiful Grand Salon, this limited seating buffet dinner and show will be a feast for the senses surrounded by stunning decor.
Performances by Wushu Shaolin Entertainment will include Chinese Martial Arts, Dragon and Lion Dances, Ribbon Dances, Face Changer, and more. Chinese New Year: Shanghai Nights offers two seating times – 4pm and 8pm – with a variety of ticket options for your party.
Lunar New Year Celebration at Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica (Jan. 25)
Celebrate the Year of the Rat! Join us for traditional cultural performance, arts & crafts, and enjoy special offers from participating stores & restaurants at Santa Monica Place.
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. 25)
Join us for our annual Lunar New Year festival celebrating the Year of the Rat! Enjoy free admission to the galleries, live performances, art making workshops, food trucks, and more!
Chinese New Year Celebration at Citadel Outlets, Los Angeles (Jan. 25 -26)
Citadel Outlets is thrilled to welcome good fortune and joy in the Year of the Rat with vibrant, family-friendly celebrations for both the local community and Los Angeles-bound travelers. Live dancers will perform a variety of exotic lion dances, folk dances, traditional songs, drum ceremonies tai-chai displays and more.
Enjoy take-home art from calligraphy and watercolor artists, festive red and gold lanterns, twinkling lights and an authentic 17-ft Chinese pagoda decorating Center Court.
Chinese New Year Kung Fu Show at Shaolin Wushu Center, Los Angeles (Jan. 25 – 26)
Enjoy a Chinese New Year Kung Fu Show featuring Master Hu Jianqiang, Zhang Yaowen. All tickets include a raffle, red envelopes for kids and dinner after the show.
Lunar New Year Celebration at Original Farmers Market, Los Angeles (Jan. 26)
There is a Kung Fu demonstration, magic show, acrobatic performances, lion and dragon dances, craft stations and more. Admission is free.
Chinese New Year Gala 2020 at Almansor Court, Alhambra (Jan. 26)
Enjoy a holiday buffet banquet, VIP Speaker, cultural activity booths, spectacular performances, raffle prizes and more! Ticketed event.