Lunar New Year celebrations kick off this weekend in Sacramento and nearby San Francisco, and there are plenty of festivities to attend throughout the month of February. Regardless of whether or not you herald from Asian heritage, everyone can celebrate the lunar New Year with one of many great events around town.
Sat, Feb 15, 11am-5pm
6879 14th Ave, Sacramento – Hiram Johnson High School
One of the largest Chinese-American groups in Sacramento, this year’s CNYCA celebration will take place at Hiram Johnson High School. The stage program runs from 12pm-5pm, with a business exhibition running 11am-5pm. Children’s games will also be available from 11-5. Tickets are $6 for adults and only a dollar for kids aged 12 and under.
Feb 8-9, times vary
7660 Stockton Blvd, Sacramento – VACOS
The Vietnamese American Community of Sacramento kicks off its 8th annual celebration of Vietnamese New Year with an outdoor festival and parade. This two day event is free to attend and features a carnival, food and product vendors, music and dance performances and a wellness fair.
Locations and hours vary
The public library often holds low-key lunar New Year events and regularly caries a diverse array of books and videos that can teach the whole family about various cultures and their lunar New Year celebrations.
San Francisco Events
Sat, Feb 8 – 4pm
Davies Symphony Hall – San Francisco
This family-friendly event focuses upon both ancient and recent Asian traditions. This “musical fusion” begins with a reception featuring dancers, instrumentalists, calligraphers, tea bars and other culturally relevant vendors and entertainment. A dinner package follows for those who purchase tickets in advance by contacting the volunteer council – (415) 503-5500.
Sat, Feb 15 – 6pm-8pm
This annual San Francisco parade has taken place since the Gold Rush and it continues to be a favorite event in the city. With elaborate floats and costuming, a golden dragon manned by a team of 100, firecrackers and the crowning of Miss Chinatown U.S.A., this is a truly authentic and lively celebration of the lunar New Year.
Find Supplies for Your Own Lunar New Year
In Sacramento there are many Asian grocers and specialty shops to supply what you need for your own lunar New Year celebration.
1715 10th St, Sacramento
Mei Mei Noodle Factory sells fresh noodles appropriate for a variety of Asian dishes including udon and chow mein. They have incredibly reasonable prices and high quality items. Since noodles are a “good luck” food in many cultures, the lunar new year is a popular time for this local shop.
1301 Broadway, Sacramento
Indulge in truly authentic items during the lunar new year by shopping at this grocery store that is well-stocked with ingredients for holiday foods and also ready-to-eat items like hot roast duck. During lunar new year season, you will also find trays of snack treats including coconut and red melon seeds.
3540 Norwood Ave, Sacramento
This Asian market serves up fresh produce and specialty items, and is ideal for preparing Southeast Asian meals. While the outside of the shop leaves much to be desired, inside you will find a friendly, personable staff selling quality items at reasonable prices.
4990 Freeport Blvd, Sacramento
Ted Oto started his market business back in 1959 and it continues to stay within the family. Here you will find a large selection of Asian foods, specializing in Japanese cuisine. Fresh fish, high-quality meat and produce, homemade bento boxes and made-to-order sushi are all available at this establishment.
Regardless of whether you are celebrating the lunar new year at home trying out some new cultural recipes, or you’re heading out for a night on the town, this is a great time of year to celebrate friends, family and a fresh start.