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The 5 Best US Cities to Celebrate the Chinese New Year

chinese-new-year_lanterns
Mary Zakheim
Written by Mary Zakheim

Aside from its deep and diverse astrological significance, the Chinese New Year is celebrated as a time for family, fireworks, and, of course, amazing food by millions of people around the world. If you’re going to be stateside over the New Year festivities that kick off in January, you should know that there are going to be massive celebrations in some major US cities filled with spectacular fireworks displays, extravagant parades, and live music.

Want to be a part of it? Then let the good times roll by celebrating the Chinese New Year in one of these 5 American cities!

San Francisco

Chinese New Year San Francisco

Image via Flickr – CC BY 2.0Mark Gunn

Boasting the largest and oldest Chinatown in the US, San Francisco takes great pride in its Chinese New Year festivities. It all 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 features a huge 268-foot dragon that snakes through its streets. If you’re going to be in town, don’t forget to enjoy its world-famous parade.

New York City

Chinese New Year Parade in New York

With abundant 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, that is). The Lunar New Year Parade takes place in Manhattan and Flushing, Queens, which is home to many of the Chinese-American population in NYC. Each celebration is set to dazzle with amazing fireworks displays and lots of mouth-watering food.

Los Angeles

Chinese New Year Los Angeles

One of the biggest celebrations in the US, Los Angeles knows how to bring some West Coast extravagance to the Chinese New Year. There, visitors can receive a blessing from the Buddhist temple staff and watch as thousands of fireworks erupt above them sparkling the skies. Popular theme parks surrounding the area are properly decorated, and the city’s own Chinatown hosts events in the parks to bring an authentic flair to the festivities.

You may also like: 5 Festivals in China You Have to Experience When You Visit

Chicago

Chinese New Year Chicago

Image via Flickr – CC BY 2.0 Two Branches

Booking flights to Chicago is always a popular option this time of the year, since the Windy City celebrates its vibrant Chinese New Year holiday featuring parades with colorful floats, lion dancers, and, of course, its famous 100-foot-long dragon. You can partake in all the festivities with musical events performed by the Shanghai Chinese Orchestra, jaw-dropping martial arts performances, and traditional opera shows.

Boston

Lion dance in Chinatown, Boston during Chinese New Year celebration

With the third-largest Chinese New Year celebration in the US, Boston’s Chinatown is easily accessible for visitors and residents alike, helping anyone admire the traditional parade that features dancing, singing, and — of course —  the giant dragon. Besides, there are plenty of food tours available during the festivities!

In which US city will you be celebrating the Chinese New Year? Let us know 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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