Around the world, many cultures and communities celebrate the start of the new year in late January and February, according to the lunar calendar. Celebrating the Lunar New Year in Portland with your family is a great way to extend the cheer through the drearier Pacific Northwest months. Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered. Read on for details on all of the activities and events taking place around town.

photo: Rich Iwasaki/ Mochitsuki Festival

Mochitsuki: Japanese New Year Celebration

Get the year off to a sweet start with this 24th annual family-friendly festival organized by PSU and community organizations. Mochi-tsuki is the pounding of individual rice grains into mochi, a sticky rice cake symbolizing the community coming together to celebrate the new year. All ages can enjoy mochi samples, food from a range of vendors, lively stage performances and hands-on activities.

Sun., Jan. 26, 11 a.m.- 4 p.m.Tickets $4-$10
Portland State University
Viking Pavilion
930 SW Hall St.
Portland, OR

photo: Dianne Yee via flickr

Lan Su Chinese Gardens

Celebrate the Lunar New Year with Lan Su’s two-week-long festivities. From opportunities to observe, like lantern viewing and lion dances, to hands-on activities like the wishing tree and family crafts, there’s a little something for everyone. Hint: Go on the 25th when every guest receives a hong bao, or traditional lucky red envelope. 

Jan. 25 through Feb. 9
10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Lan Su Chinese Gardens
239 NW Everett St.
Portland, OR

photo: liana via flickr

Lunar New Year Dragon Dance Parade

This celebration kicks off at NW Davis and 4th Avenue with fireworks and lion dances, then continues with a parade through Chinatown and downtown featuring a 100-foot dragon and more lion dances! It begins at 11:00 a.m. and ends at the Oregon Historical Society where activities will continue on throughout the afternoon ending at 3:30 p.m.

Sat., Jan. 25, 11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Portland Chinatown Museum
127 NW 3rd Ave.
Portland, OR

photo: Walter via flicker

Lunar New Year at the Library

From Jan. 18 – Feb. 4 a number of library branches will host Lunar New Year celebrations this year with cultural performances, educational activities and light refreshments for all ages an abilities. Check the events schedule at your local branch, or visit the link below to find activities that work for your family rhythm. Then stick around to browse the collection for books on the Lunar New Year.

Various times and locations
Multnomah County Library
Portland, OR

photo: Lan Su Chinese Gardens

Oregon 2020 Lunar New Year Celebration

Don’t miss this inaugural event at Keller Auditorium.2020 will be the first time that the Lunar New Year celebration is held in Keller Auditorium. It is also  the first time that multiple Asian communities will come together to celebrate the Lunar New Year. The performances include top level ballet professionals performing a national award-winning piece, a Chinese National Level face-changing performer, international Wushu champions performing their best routines, and a variety of culture performances by well-known groups and individuals. There will also be art exhibits by well-known visual artists and craft workshops by popular culture organizations.

Art and craft activities begin when doors open at 6 p.m. Performances begin at 7 p.m. and run through 9 p.m.

Jan. 25 7 p.m.
Keller Auditorium
222 SW Clay St.
Portland, OR

Lunar New Year Celebration in Washington Square

Ring in the Year of the Rat with traditional cultural performances, children’s entertainment and arts and crafts. Some of the performances will include the Portland Chinese Yoyo Team, Portland Puppet Museum featuring Jade Empress Dragon and the Story of Nian, the Vancouver Jasmine Dance Troupe, and the Musical Showcase by Benhi of Wisdom Arts Academy. Activities will include Chinese New Year Fortune Teller Games, a Cherry Bloom Art Project, and a Coin Necklace Art Project.

Feb. 1 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Washington Square
9585 SW Washington Square Rd,
Portland, OR
Online: More information here.

—Melissa Poulin


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