Lunar new year is celebrated all over the Bay Area to welcome the coming of spring and to hope for good luck and prosperity in the new year. Welcome the Year of the Rooster with traditional lion dances, crafts and fortune cookies as you join in one of these festive celebrations and parades. Traditional arts like origami and calligraphy are demonstrated and kids can make festive paper lanterns to take home. Chinese New Year Lunar Parade Photo Credit_©Adam Alexander Photography

San Francisco

Chinese New Year Flower Fair, Chinatown
Come and purchase traditional holiday plants, flowers and fruits to celebrate Chinese New Year as you get a head start on the celebrations and enjoy the festive atmosphere. Make sure you buy something in bloom to symbolize rebirth and new growth. Delight in performances of traditional Chinese magicians, acrobats, folk dancers and opera as you take in the beautiful fragrances of spring.

When: January 21, 10 a.m.–8 p.m. and January 22, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Grant Ave. from Clay to Broadway;
Pacific Ave. from Kearney to Stockton;
Jackson St. from Kearny to Stockton

Lunar New Year Celebration, Asian Art Museum
Ring in the Year of the Rooster with a lion dance, listen to a story about the Chinese zodiac, make a Lunar New Year-inspired art project and have your name written in Chinese calligraphy. All events are free with admission; children 12 and under and SF Unified School District students enter free of charge.

When: January 29, 10:30 a.m.–4 p.m.
Asian Art Museum
200 Larkin St.
San Francisco, Ca

Lunar New Year Celebration, San Francisco Zoo
Guests born in the Year of the Rooster get free admission for the day, but everyone is sure to go nuts for the zoo’s entertainment lineup for the Lunar New Year Celebration. Acrobatic performances, lion dances, a rooster craft, and a zodiac scavenger hunt ensure fun for all. Stop by the Family Farm to visit the zoo’s own roosters.

When: January 28-29 and February 4-5
San Francisco Zoo
Great Hwy.
San Francisco, Ca

Chinese New Year Celebration, San Francisco Symphony
The San Francisco Symphony pays tribute to the musical tradition of Asia with a selection of traditional Asian music along with orchestral works influenced by both East and West. Come early for a fun pre-concert festival with lion dancing, ribbon dancing, tea bars and lucky red envelopes.

When: February 4, 3 p.m.
San Francisco Symphony
Davies Symphony Hall
201 Van Ness Ave.
San Francisco, Ca

Chinatown Community Street Fair, Chinatown
A feast for the senses awaits in San Francisco’s Chinatown as the community gathers to celebrate the Year of the Rooster. Say “Gung hay fat choy” to one and all as you try your hand at lantern making, kite making and calligraphy. Cultural performances and demonstrations will immerse you in the sights and sounds of Chinatown!

When: February 11, 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; February 12, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Chinatown Community Street Fair
Grant Ave. from Clay to Broadway;
Pacific Ave. from Kearney to Stockton;
Jackson St. from Kearny to Stockton

Chinese New Year’s Day Parade, Chinatown
You’ll need to arrive early and brave hordes of revelers to see San Francisco’s Chinese New Year Parade, but it’s worth it. You’ll see gorgeous costumes, elaborate floats, stilt walkers, lion dancers, the newly crowned Miss Chinatown USA, and the famous Golden Dragon, “Gum Lung”, all accompanied by music, drumbeats, and over 600,000 firecrackers! Parade starts on Market Street, up Grant, down Post, then through Chinatown on Kearney, ending at Columbus.

When: February 11, 5:15 p.m.–8 p.m.
Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade

Fourth Street berkeley lunar new year

Photo courtesy of Fourth Street Shops

East Bay

Lunar New Year Celebration and Parade, Downtown Albany
Be sure to get to the Landmark Theatre early to get free tickets to this one-of-a-kind cultural show; the lion dances and martial arts demonstrations just might inspire your little firecrackers to dance up and down the streets! Fortunately, the Lunar New Year Parade starts right outside the theater, right after the show ends, so they can skip to the beat of a bunch drums, lions and dragons.

When: February 5, 10 a.m.–1 p.m.
Landmark Albany Twin Theatre
1115 Solano Ave.
Albany, Ca

Lunar New Year Celebration, Oakland Museum of California
Join OMCA for the 16th annual Lunar New Year celebration, a fortune-filled family-friendly event to welcome in the Year of the Rooster and celebrate Valentine’s Day. Enjoy live performances and an array of Asian traditions in arts, crafts, food, demonstrations and more. A 24-Festival Drums performance highlights a festive tradition from Malaysia, along with K-pop dance, Korean drumming and magic shows by the Magic of Jade and Goofball.

When: February 12, noon–4:30 p.m.
Oakland Museum of California
1000 Oak St.
Oakland, Ca

Lunar New Year Festival, Oakland Asian Cultural Center
Celebrate the Year of the Rooster with performances, arts and crafts, and vendors.

When: February 4, 11 a.m.–3 p.m.
Oakland Asian Cultural Center
388 Ninth Street, Ste. 290
Oakland, Ca

Lunar New Year Celebration, Habitot Children’s Museum, Berkeley
Lunar New Year is a time of family reunion, food, music and dance. Children can practice black ink calligraphy and also create their own paper lanterns for the Year of the Rooster in the Art Studio.

When: January 29, 9:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.
Habitot Children’s Museum
2065 Kittredge St.
Berkeley, Ca

Lunar New Year Festival, Fourth Street, Berkeley
Martial arts demonstrations, candy giveaways and lion dances kick off the festivities at this 9th annual celebration. A parade takes place at 2 p.m.

When: February 4, 12- 4 p.m.
Fourth Street and Delaware
Berkeley, Ca

Chinese New Year


Chinese New Year Festival, Bay Area Discovery Museum
The museum partners with the Marin Chinese Cultural Association to ring in the Year of the Rooster with lion dancers, calligraphers, Chinese food, and more.

When: February 20, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Bay Area Discovery Museum
557 McReynolds Rd.
Sausalito, Ca

chinese new year

Photo courtesy of May Wong via flickr

Year of the Rooster Celebration, Redwood City
Don’t let the chance of rain dampen your mood; Redwood City’s rain-or-shine celebration includes martial arts, acrobats, taiko, and ribbon dancing performances as well as arts and crafts for the kids.

When: February 11, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Redwood City Courthouse Square
2200 Broadway St.
Redwood City, Ca

Childrens Discovery Museum San Jose

Courtesy of Children’s Discovery Museum

South Bay

Lunar New Year Celebration, Children’s Discovery Museum, San Jose
Explore the many ways that Asian cultures celebrate Lunar New Year! Dragon dances, brush painting and paper folding are just some of the activities that families can enjoy at this special celebration. Enjoy a petting zoo with roosters and chickens. Learn how to write with calligraphy.

When: February 4, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; February 5, noon–5 p.m.
Children’s Discovery Museum
180 Woz Way
San Jose, Ca

Lunar New Year Crafts and Stories, San Jose Libraries
Celebrate Lunar New Year with a story, crafts and fun as we welcome the Year of the Rooster. For ages 3 and up.

When: January 10- February 11.
See website for participating libraries, dates and times.
San Jose, Ca

Free Community Day: Lunar New Year, San Jose Museum of Art
The museum puts a contemporary spin on traditional customs and activities to celebrate the Lunar New Year. An added bonus: admission is free all day! Create an updated paper lantern with a Lunar New Year-themed cutout design, learn to create Chinese knots and contribute wishes for the new year to SJMA’s Community Wish Tree.

When: January 28, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
San Jose Museum of Art
110 S. Market St.
San Jose, Ca

How do you plan to welcome the year of the rooster? Let us know in the comments below! 

–Kate Loweth & Bonggamom