Lunar New Year celebrations in Portland, OR

The Lunar New Year celebrates the start of spring and a new year on the lunisolar calendar.

Colorful lion dancers parade through a city street.

The Lunar New Year Dragon Dance Parade and Celebration draws scores of spectators every year.

Did you know some 2 billion people celebrate the Lunar New Year? The start of the holiday coincides with the date of the new moon in Asia, which is Sunday, Jan. 22.

Each year on the lunar calendar is represented by one of 12 animals — on a 12-year cycle — and 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit. In Chinese culture, people born in a rabbit year (1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, or 2011) are said to be caring, attentive to details, and good at making friends — and they’re predicted to have a year of excitement, prosperity, and surprises ahead.

Here are some events to celebrate the Lunar New Year in the Rose City:

  • Lunar New Year Opening Lion Dance | Saturday, Jan. 21 | 9:30-10 a.m. | Lan Su Chinese Garden, 239 NW Everett St. | Free | Welcome the Year of the Rabbit with a special lion dance performance at the garden’s Entrance Plaza.
  • Lunar New Year Lantern Viewing Evenings | Thursday, Jan. 26-Sunday, Feb. 5 | 5 p.m. + 7 p.m. | Lan Su Chinese Garden, 239 NW Everett St. | $15-$45 | Take in the sights of the garden at night as glowing lanterns illuminate traditional architecture and floating sculptures.
  • Chinese New Year Cultural Fair | Saturday, Jan. 21 | 11 a.m.-5 p.m. | Oregon Convention Center, 777 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. | $8 | Experience traditional Chinese dances, music, calligraphy, martial arts, and games for kids.
  • 2023 Lunar New Year Dragon Dance Parade and Celebration | Saturday, Jan. 28 | 10 a.m.-1 p.m. | Free | The seventh annual parade, presented by the Portland Chinatown Museum and Oregon Historical Society, will showcase a 150-ft-long dragon, lion dancers, and other performers as they make their way around Old Town Chinatown.
  • Lunar New Year Celebration | Saturday, Jan. 28 | 11 a.m.-4 p.m. | Washington Square, 9585 SW Washington Square Rd. | Free | Visit the mall’s Summit Court for live performances, crafts, stories, dances, and to make a wish on the Wishing Tree.
  • Oregon 2023 Lunar New Year Celebration | Saturday, Feb. 4 | 7 p.m. | Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay St. | $25-$115 | This popular annual event by the Chinese Friendship Association of Portland includes a magic show, music, gymnastic performances, and more.
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