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Enter the Rooster: The 5 Best US Cities to Celebrate the Chinese New Year

Mary Zakheim
Written by Mary Zakheim

It’s time to get “cocky,” America – the Year of the Rooster is upon us!

According to the Chinese Zodiac cycle, 2017 will be the Year of the Rooster. This means anyone who is a Rooster is destined to have some bad luck ahead and has to be extra careful.

Aside from its astrological significance, the Chinese New Year is also celebrated as a time for family, fireworks, and, of course, amazing food.

If you’re going to be stateside over the New Year festivities (from January 28, 2017 to well into late February), there are going to be massive celebrations in some major US cities, complete with spectacular fireworks displays, extravagant parades, and live music.

Why chicken out? Take this rooster by the beak and let the good times roll by celebrating in one of these 5 cities!

San Francisco


Image via Flickr CC – May Wong

Boasting the largest and oldest Chinatown in the US, San Francisco takes great pride in its Chinese New Year festivities. It began in the 1860s when the Chinese community wanted to share their celebration with their fellow Americans who had never seen a Chinese New Year before. Fast forward to the present, and you’ll be able to enjoy (along with more than a million other spectators) a night-time parade that lights up the city and includes a huge 268-foot dragon that snakes through its streets. If you’re going to be in town, remember that the parade takes place on February 11.

New York City

Chinese New Year Parade in New York

With THREE separate parades, multiple days of festivities, and free walking tours of Chinatown, the Big Apple may be the best place to celebrate the holiday outside of China. Two of the parades are in Manhattan while the Lunar New Year Parade takes place in Flushing, Queens (home to a majority of the Chinese-American population in NYC). Each celebration is set to dazzle with amazing fireworks displays and lots of mouth-watering food. Festivities take place on January 28 and February 5.

Los Angeles


Image via Flickr CC – Craig Taylor

One of the biggest celebrations in the US, Los Angeles knows how to bring some West Coast extravagance to the Chinese New Year. Kicked off at midnight on the eve of the New Year, visitors can receive a blessing from the Buddhist temple and watch as thousands of fireworks erupt above them and sparklers light up around them. Plus, visitors to the theme parks in the area will be treated to festively decorated parks — the city’s Chinatown even hosts events in the parks to bring an authentic flair to the festivities. The date for this year’s parade is as of yet unconfirmed.

Good to know! In case you’re thinking about buying that lottery ticket, the lucky numbers for the upoming year are 5, 7, and 8 (and numbers containing them). Lucky colors you should wear are gold, brown, and yellow. 


Chinese New Year Parade in Chicago

Image via Flickr CC – Chris J

Chicago celebrates the Chinese New Year holiday with gusto, featuring parades with colorful floats, lion dancers, and of course, the famous 100-foot-long dragon. You can partake in all the festivities with numerous events like music and dance by the China National Peking Opera Company, and even jaw-dropping martial arts by Jackie Chan’s Long Yun Kung Fu Troupe from Beijing! Remember: the Chinese Lunar New Year Parade in Chinatown is on February 5.


Lion dance in Chinatown, Boston during Chinese New Year celebration

With the third-largest Chinese New Year celebration in the US, Boston adds a lot of flair to its Chinese New Year celebrations. The city’s very centrally located Chinatown is easily accessible for visitors and residents alike, which can help you witness the traditional parade that features dancing, singing, and the giant dragon. A unique aspect of Boston’s celebrations is the many food tours that are offered in Chinatown. You can catch all the celebrations on February 5.

We wish you all good luck for this Rooster year! Jínián jíxiáng!

In which US city will you be celebrating the Chinese New Year? Let us now in the comments below.


About the author

Mary Zakheim

Mary Zakheim

When she is not figuring out what the middle button on her headphones is for, explaining the difference between Washington State and Washington D.C., arriving to the airport too early or refusing to use the Oxford comma, you can usually find Mary in the mountains, at a show or on her couch.

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