How to Celebrate Lunar New Year in Los Angeles

Welcome the Year of the Rat with these festivities

Lunar New Year arrives on January 25, 2020, ushering in the Year of the Rat (specifically, the Metal Rat). In many cultures around the world, Lunar New Year is celebrated as the biggest holiday of the year, and in L.A. there are plenty of opportunities to mark the occasion, from street festivals to special dining and more.

Midnight Temple Ceremony at Thien Hau Temple
Thousands of people gather at Thien Hau Temple in Chinatown to celebrate when the clock strikes midnight. Traditions include lion dancers, incense burning, the making of offerings to deities, and the launching of 500,000 firecrackers. January 24 at 10 p.m., Thien Hau Temple, 756 Yale St., Chinatown.

121st Annual Golden Dragon Parade and Chinese New Year Festival
Chinatown’s official Chinese New year festival has been going on since 1899, making it the oldest celebration of its kind in the United States. The parade starts at the intersection of Hill and Ord Streets; vendors, entertainment stages, a “culinary corner,” and other festivities will take place throughout the neighborhood from noon to 8 p.m. February 1, Chinatown Central Plaza, 943-951 N. Broadway, Chinatown.

Undiscovered Chinatown Walking Tour
Want to learn more about the history of L.A.’s Chinatown? Sign up for this walking tour that takes place in the morning, before the festival begins, when guides will show you temples, herbalists, antique sellers, and other off-the-beaten path spots most visitors might miss. February 1 at 10:30 a.m., Chinatown, $15. 

Disneyland Lunar New Year Celebration
Disneyland offers visitors what they describe as “a multicultural celebration filled with auspicious wishes for health, luck, and prosperity” for what they’re calling the Year of the Mouse. Among the festivities are special parades and water shows drawn from Mulan, Mickey and Minnie in their version of traditional holiday attire, lanterns, and special foods. January 17-February 9, Disney California Adventure Park. 

Ninth Annual Chinese New Year Celebration in Beverly Hills
The Beverly Hills Conference & Visitors Bureau partners with the city of Beijing for this celebration, officially titled “Happy Chinese New Year, Charming Jing-Jin-Ji.” Events will include a variety show, performance groups direct from China, and special packages at local restaurants and hotels, throughout the city of Beverly Hills. Visit website for details.

Lunar New Year at Shiok! 
Torrance’s Shiok! restaurant specializes in what they call Asian street food. In honor of Lunar New Year, they’ll host two performances by lion dancers, special menu items including “firecracker prawns,” and other fun activities. February 8 at 11:30 a.m., Shiok! 2595 Airport Dr., Torrance. 

Santa Monica Place Lunar New Year Celebration 
Celebrate the Year of the Rat with this Korean-focused celebration. Comedian Paul “P.K.” Kim will host, there will be lion dancers and Korean fan dancers, and there will be a K-Pop dance performance. After the entertainment, be sure to stop by Swarovski, Tory Burch, and other retailers offering special promotions. January 25 at 2 p.m., Santa Monica Place, 395 Santa Monica Pl., Santa Monica. 

Westfield Century City “Live at the Atrium” Lunar New Year Concert 
Mark the occasion with music at Westfield Century City. The mall will host lion dancers, followed by liver performances by Joyce Wrice, TFTI, and Justin Park. January 25 at 3 p.m., Westfield Century City, 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Century City. 

RELATED: Immigration From Mainland China Has Transformed L.A.’s Chinese Food Landscape

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