photo: Dianne Yee via Flickr
Say zài jiàn (‘goodbye’ in Mandarin) to the monkey at the end of the month, and hello to the incoming 2017 Year of the Rooster. While America celebrates the new year on January 1st, the Lunar New Year is based on the lunar calendar: this year it comes on January 28th. It’s traditionally a time to gather with family and loved ones and celebrate and there’s no reason for your family to miss out on the fun. Read on to find out where you can catch the festivals, lantern lightings and more here in Portland!
Chinese New Year Cultural Fair
This is the top festival for Portland’s Chinese community—last year it drew over 8,000 people! Booths will offer food and crafts and throughout the day there will be numerous events like the famous dragon dance, a lion dance, and other cultural dances and martial art demonstrations. The year’s lucky colors are gold, brown, and yellow–challenge your kids to find as many things in those colors as they can!
$6 advance admission, $8 day-of, kids 3 and under free
Saturday, Feb 4
10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Exhibit Hall B, Convention Center
777 NE Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Portland
Lan Su Chinese Garden
The gardens are the premiere place to celebrate Lunar New Year in Portland, with plenty of family friendly events throughout the week-long celebration. Join them for the opening ceremonies on January 28th for lots of cultural treats like lion dances, folk art demonstrations, children’s crafts, a chance for your children to put their wish on the Wishing Tree, martial art performances and Calligraphy demonstrations.
Good to know: Plan for long lines by buying tickets in advance and arriving early!
Jan. 28 – Feb. 6
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Rolling in the Wealth
A special event for visitors on Monday morning, your family can join the garden staff in rolling oranges and coins over the entrance, to ensure good fortune and prosperity. Later, mimic the tradition by letting your kids roll oranges through your own front door!
Mon., Jan. 30
10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Visit the gardens at night for a magical tour of lanterns. This event takes visitors on a dragon procession tour illuminated by glowing red lanterns, ending in a 20 fit tall dragon! Separate tickets are required, free cider for everyone.
$35 for non-members, kids 3-11years cost $15, kids under 3 years are free.
Lan Su Chinese Gardens
239 NW Everett St., Portland
Cantonese Storytime at Holgate Library
Join the storytime in Cantonese at the Holgate Library on Jan. 29th and Feb. 6th. If you and your kiddos don’t know any Cantonese, learn a few words and pick out some great new books, and if you do, join in on the storytime fun!
Jan. 29 & Feb. 6 at 2:15 p.m.
7905 SE Holgate, Portland
photo: Allen A. via Yelp
Food is always a great way to celebrate! You might not always head to SE 82nd street for a bite to eat, but there are numerous jewels in the midst of those car lots. Whether your favorite meal is Chinese Hot Pot or you’re new to everything, challenge your kids to try something new. Below are a couple of our favorite spots:
Kenny’s Noodle House
Hand-pulled noodles go into the delicious Hong Kong style dumpling noodle soup. For kids (and parents!) who aren’t as brave, the endless variations of congee (savory, warm, creamy rice porridge) are sure to please.
8305 SE Powell Blvd., Portland
Traditional dim sum is served on rolling carts–point at what looks good! The fluffy steamed buns (bao) are another winner, sure to win over any picky eaters. To avoid a long wait, arrive around 11 a.m., or before the lunchtime crowds hit.
4410 SE 82nd Ave. Portland
What’s your favorite way to celebrate Chinese New Year? Tell us in the comments below!