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Celebrate the Lunar New Year in Philadelphia

December 18, 2023

Every year, the City of Philadelphia fills with vibrant enthusiasm to commemorate the Lunar New Year. The city celebrates the Chinese New Year with traditional lion dances, family-friendly festivals, and a parade, many situated in the historic Chinatown neighborhood. Experience the beginning of a new year with these annual Lunar New Year celebrations.

Watch a traditional lion dance and parade

People in yellow sweatshirts and black sweatpants perform a traditional lion dance with colorful costumes in celebration of the Lunar New Year, as onlookers line the street and stand off to the side and take photos with their phones and cameras.

Chinese New Year 2020 Sunday Parade. Photo by A. Lee.

Each Lunar New Year, the Philadelphia Suns, a long-time community partner of the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation (PCDC), performs traditional lion dances in honor of the holiday. The Philadelphia Suns Lion Dance Troupe preserves the cultural significance of the traditional lion dance during the annual Midnight Eve and Lunar New Year Day parades. The parades consist of lion dancing, drumming, music, and lighting firecrackers to bring good fortune and good luck to businesses in the community. Both parades start at 10th and Spring Streets in Chinatown.

Attend Culturefest! Lunar New Year at the Penn Museum

Children in bright green and orange costumes perform with lanterns in celebration of the Lunar New Year

Penn Museum Culturefest! Lunar New Year. Photo courtesy of Penn Museum.

Every year, the Penn Museum hosts a Culturefest! Lunar New Year event in partnership with The American Chinese Museum. Guests of all ages enjoy storytelling and artmaking while learning more about diverse cultural traditions through live music and dance performances. There’s also a marketplace where visitors can shop from various vendors selling unique goods. And the traditional Lion Dance finale is performed by the University of Pennsylvania’s premier lion dance troupe, Penn Lions. All CultureFest! Lunar New Year activities are included with museum general admission.

Savor authentic Chinese flavors

Two white plates with a meal containing rice, cheese, and seafood sit on a wooden table.

Photo courtesy of Sang Kee Peking Duck House.

Philadelphia’s Chinatown is a bustling neighborhood with a wide variety of restaurants serving authentic Sichuan, Cantonese, Shaanxi, and other Asian specialties. Ocean Harbor, Sang Kee Peking Duck House, EMei, and Nom Wah Tea Parlor are just a few of the popular options available throughout the district. They each offer dine-in, take-out, delivery, and, in some instances, outdoor dining.

Skate into the new year

A performer in a yellow sweatshirt and white pants performs a traditional lion dance with a red and yellow banner that reads Happy New Year in front of the ice rink at Dilworth Park in celebration of the Lunar New Year. People stand around to watch the performance.

Chinese New Year Celebration at Dilworth Park. Photo by M. Epps for Center City District.

Every winter Dilworth Park — home to Philadelphia’s City Hall — transforms into the Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink in Dilworth Park. Visitors can skate along the cityscape, enjoy drinks and winter treats at the Wintergarden, shop at seasonal craft markets, and cozy up next to warm firepits. Each year, the park hosts a special Lunar New Year evening featuring giveaways and special programming.

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