Disclaimer: Due to COVID-19 concerns, many events might be canceled, postponed, or changed into limited versions, sometimes at very short notice. Please check with event organizers directly for the latest updates.
Late January and early February in Philadelphia is a vibrant season, packed with colorful Lunar New Year events. The celebrations span far beyond Chinatown—libraries, museums, and other establishments across the city host special themed festivities, most offering free admission. Usually, activities start a week before Chinese New Year and continue well through a fortnight afterward.
Chinatown Midnight Lion Dance (February 11, 2021, unconfirmed)
Despite tons of options, the top pick is two energetic parades taking place in Chinatown annually. If you're there for Chinese New Year's Eve, witness the Midnight Lion Dance featuring the Philadelphia Suns. This hilarious street extravaganza kicks off at 1000 Race Street at 11:30 pm and runs through 1 am. For the best views, try to secure a spot at N 10th & Race St.
Chinatown Daytime Lion Dance (February 12, 2021, unconfirmed)
You can also opt for a daytime Lion Dance Parade on Chinese New Year's Day between 11 am and 3 pm. The start point is the intersection of N 10th & Race St. Both parades are free of charge. Arrive aforehand as crowds get heavy at this time of year.
More places to mark the occasion
Besides Chinatown, you can experience Lunar New Year traditions at such places as Reading Terminal Market, Penn Museum, or the Elmwood Park Zoo, all of which offer some seasonal entertainment to mark the holiday. Among the most interactive and delicious ways to celebrate is a homemade dumpling-making workshop at Dumpling Academy. The lessons are available on select dates.
Visiting Philadelphia during the Chinese New Year season promises plenty of fun and lots of traditional entertainment!