San Diego is home to several major Lunar New Year events that are worth visiting for those who want to celebrate the Year of the Rat.
The New Year (or Chinese New Year if you have a Chinese heritage) is celebrated in China, Vietnam, Korea, Mongolia, Singapore, Tibet and by the many emigrants from these countries around the world.
The date is based on the lunisolar calendar, which is January 25, 2020 this year.
Vacation at home is incredibly important because my daughter is proud to be born in Hong Kong. It is by far the most important festival there lasting 15 days, but usually only three of those days are public holidays.
Below is a list of Lunar New Year events in San Diego.
Lunar New Year Charity Gala (TBD) by Jasmine Seafood
Jasmine Seafoods Lunar New Year Charity Gala is a multicultural event that features Chinese “firecrackers”, happy lion dancers, an 8-course New Year dinner, live entertainment and a silent auction.
The proceeds will benefit the San Diego United Lions Club’s charitable projects worldwide.
Lion dances in the Jasmine Seafood Restaurant
In addition to the gala above, Jasmin Seafood Restaurant hosts lion dancing for guests entertainment in the dining room. The lion dances will take place:
- Friday, January 31, 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.
- Saturday, February 1, 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.
- Sunday, February 2, 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.
- Saturday, February 8, 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.
- Sunday, February 9, 10:30 a.m.
Food service stops during the 10-15 minute performances so be sure to get plenty of dim sum and other delicious dishes from the carts before the show begins.
It is recommended to arrive at least one hour before the shows to avoid queues and parking problems.
Bring lai (traditional red envelopes with dollar bills inside) for good luck seeing and the student lion troop and their organization support.
Annual San Diego Chinese New Year Food and Culture Fair
The annual San Diego Chinese New Year Fair The event at the San Diego Chinese Center lasts two days.
The celebration includes a craft area for children, where they have the opportunity to parade on lanterns in front of the dragon.
Attendees can shop for Chinese handicrafts, eat tons of traditional food, and enjoy acrobats to traditional Chinese music performances in the area of live entertainment. It is a very successful event that we enjoy.
- Saturday February 16 and Sunday February 17
- 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., rain or shine
- Third Avenue and J Street
- Free admission
Lunar New Year Tet Festival at Qualcomm
Presented by the Little Saigon San Diego Foundation, the Lunar New Year Tet Festival Lion dances are shown throughout the day, carnival rides, lots of Asian food, martial arts, a pageant competition, an Asian cultural village, a dog costume competition and much more. The fact that at SDCCU (Qualcomm) Stadium should give you an idea regarding the massive size and offerings of the festival.
- Friday, January 17 – Sunday, January 19
- Friday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday from 11 p.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday from 11 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- SDCCU stadium
- Ticket prices: $ 4- $ 6 entry plus additional food, beverage, and carnival rides costs. You can skip the ticket lines from buy in advance, Parking is free.
Annual San Diego Tet Festival
This annual Tet Festival Various competitions are held, including a “Miss Vietnam of San Diego” pageant, a photo competition, a “Golden Voice” competition and the opportunity for children to share their knowledge of Vietnamese culture.
Guests can also look forward to a variety of Vietnamese food, carnival rides and games, firecrackers and lion dances.
- Friday, January 24 – Sunday, January 26
- Friday from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 a.m., Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Mira Mesa community park
- Free admission
International cottages at Balboa Park
At the House of China, experience a Chinese New Year in Balboa Park with lion dances, dragon dances, Chinese performances, kung fu and delicious Chinese specialties.
New lunar year at SeaWorld San Diego
To celebrate New lunar year at SeaWorld San Diego with incredible Chinese acrobats showing amazing local cultural events, and mouth-watering culinary delights in the celebration of the year of the rat (reserve your seats online). The spectacular fireworks display takes place on January 25th.
- Select dates between January 11th and February 2nd
- Check the calendar for event times
- SeaWorld San Diego
- Free on entry
See also: How to buy discounted tickets for SeaWorld San Diego
How do you celebrate Lunar New Year in San Diego? If activities are missing, please leave them in the comments.
Kung Hei Fat Choy!
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