Welcome the Year of the Rat with these Philadelphia events celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year. The holiday officially falls on Saturday, January 25 but festivities last for several weeks.
2020 Chinatown Midnight Lion Dance
Friday, January 24 from 11:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.
This annual tradition begins at the intersection of 10th and Race Street. The Philadelphia Suns will perform the lion dance! Go early and grab a meal, then get a spot on the street – this will be crowded!
Please Touch Museum
Saturday and Sunday, January 25-26
Kids can join the festivities with themed storytime sessions and two lion dance performances by the Penn Lions.
Elmwood Park Zoo
Saturday, January 25 from noon to 1 p.m.
Enjoy an educational program, crafts, and live animal meet and greets featuring “animals of the zodiac”. You’ll also have the opportunity to try on the zoo’s dragon mask. Free with zoo admission.
Independence Seaport Museum
Saturday, January 25 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Celebrate the Lunar New Year by creating your own calendar, trying your hand at calligraphy, and learning about water-based new year traditions around the globe. All activities are included in museum admission.
Lucien E. Blackwell West Philadelphia Regional Library
Saturday, January 25 at 2 p.m.
Celebrate the Chinese New Year! Join us for Chinese New Year slime, crafts and snack sampling from a Tray of Togetherness. Families will take home a copy of a Chinese zodiac themed picture book. (While supplies last.) For children ages 11 and under and their families.
Saturday, January 25 at 3 p.m.
Learn about traditional customs for the celebration, learn Chinese greetings, find out about red envelopes and Lucky Money, watch performances of the lion dance, and more!
Saturday, January 25 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
There’s a party at Dilworth Park to celebrate the Year of the Rat! Enjoy ice skating, a dancing dragon, decorations and more. The first 50 guests will receive lucky red envelopes with prizes, so get there early!
Saturday, January 25 at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m.
Rivers Casino is celebrating with two dragon dancing performances throughout the casino. Plus, you can enjoy a special New Year’s Menu at the Mian restaurant.
2020 Lion Dance Parade
Sunday, January 26 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
After their midnight performance on Friday night, the Philadelphia Suns return on Sunday for a daytime lion dance and parade on 10th and Race Streets. The dancers compete for lettuce from neighborhood businesses as it’s a sign of good luck and wealth!
Main Line Chinese Culture Center
Sunday, January 26 from 1:30 to 5:30
This afternoon event will feature traditional Chinese music, a chopsticks competition, martial arts demonstrations, and more.
Bing Bing Dim Sum Restaurant
Tuesday, January 28 from 5:30 p.m. to 9:45 p.m.
Enjoy a special feast ($50 per person) at this East Passyunk favorite to celebrate the Year of the Rat. The menu includes roast pork bao, glacier point oysters, rutabaga noodles and snow peas, Cantonese steamed fish, and more. Finish the meal with a delicious pineapple upside down cake. Make reservations now!
Parkway Central Library
Saturday, February 1 at 10 a.m.
Join the Free Library of Philadelphia and the WE Cultural Exchange Institute to celebrate the Chinese New Year of the Rat with a Spring Festival at the Parkway Central Library in the Grand Lobby. Experience the famed Lion Dance, martial arts, folk music, Chinese opera, and the dances of different ethnic groups throughout China. A tea ceremony and flower arrangement show will highlight the beauty and harmony of cultural exchanges and collaborations.
Wednesday, February 5 at 12:30 p.m.
The Holy Redeemer School students will perform the traditional Lion Dance with drummers to chase away evil spirits and usher in a year of good luck. Jennifer Chang, Chief of Central Public Services Division, will regale the audience with captivating Chinese folkloric tales.
The Rail Park
Saturday, February 8 from noon to 3 p.m.
If you haven’t seen the Philadelphia Suns yet this year, here’s another performance of the lion dance! Shop the flower market, grab lunch from food trucks, and enjoy family activities.