Happy Lunar New Year! The annual holiday, also known as Chinese New Year and primarily celebrated among East Asian communities, begins on the second new moon after the winter solstice, and so with February 1, 2022 begins the Year of the Tiger.
It’s the third of 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac and comes back around every 12 years. So if you were born in either 2010, 1998, 1986, 1974 and so on, you were born in the Year of the Tiger. And in addition to being your favorite animal at DFW-area zoos, the tiger represents bravery, courage and wisdom.
To boldly usher in the new year, several local restaurants, shopping centers and cultural centers are throwing free parties for the community. Read below for where to take the kids to watch lion dances and make your own paper lanterns in a family-friendly workshop.
Lunar New Year at Wok Star Chinese
Where: Wok Star Chinese, When: Tuesday, Feb. 1, 6pm
Cost: Free admission; pricing varies for meals and cocktails
What to know: Watch a performance of traditional dragon dancers from Jiu Long Lion Dance Troupe, enter to win giveaways of Chinese lanterns, and stay to eat a dinner of Wok Star’s traditional soup dumplings, and for parents, their specialty cocktail, the Forbidden Dao. Reservations are not required.
Lunar New Year Celebration
Where: Galleria Dallas, 13350 Dallas Parkway, Dallas
When: Lantern art on display Feb. 1–28; dragon dance at noon on Saturday, Feb. 5
What to know: Under the shopping center’s barrel ceiling windows, Galleria Dallas installed more than 150 enormous, red lanterns, which will stay up through the end of the month. See them on Feb. 5 when the HD Lion Dance Foundation performs a colorful dragon dance on level one in front of Sephora.
Lunar New Year Celebration Dallas
Where: AT&T Discovery District, Exchange Hall, 211 S. Akard Street
When: Saturday, Feb. 5, noon–5pm
Cost: Free admission; cost for food or cocktails at Exchange Hall
What to know: Head to downtown Dallas for a performance by Rising Phoenix Lion Dance Association. A live DJ will spin tunes from 1–4pm, and you can grab authentic Chinese food from Monkey King Noodle.
Chinese New Year Richardson
Where: DFW Chinatown, 400 N. Greenville Avenue, Richardson
When: Saturday, Feb. 5 at 10am
What to know: Located in the Richardson CORE District, this family-friendly event features dragon and lion dancers, a noodle pulling demonstration at Monkey King Noodle Co., and authentic culinary offerings from more than 20 Asian restaurants. Parking will be available at Chinatown and an event bus will be rotating between the DART Arapaho Center Station and the event from 10am to 2:30pm.
Lunar New Year Garland
Where: Cali Saigon Mall, 3212 N. Jupiter Road, Garland
When: Saturday, Feb. 5, 10:30am
What to know: This Vietnamese indoor shopping center caps off three weekends of celebrations with red firecrackers for good luck and a dragon dance by Cong Dong Dallas. Stay and shop afterward with the Vietnamese American community inside the mall, open until 9pm.
Lunar New Year Grand Prairie
Where: Asia Times Square, 2625 W. Pioneer Pkwy., Grand Prairie
When: Saturday, Feb. 5, 2–4:30pm; and Sunday, Feb. 6, noon–2pm
What to know: On this last of three weekend celebrations, Asia Times Square presents lion and dragon dances, drum performances and firecracker show, held outdoors in front of the Hong Kong Market Place and Music Alley.
Lunar New Year Grandscape
Where: Grandscape, 5752 Grandscape Blvd., The Colony
When: Sunday, Feb. 6, 2–4pm
What to know: Meet on the Grandscape lawn for an afternoon of traditional performances including a lion dance, dragon parade, Tiko drummers, a martial arts demonstration and an Asian ribbon dancing fusion show.
Where: Oak Cliff Cultural Center, 223 W. Jefferson Blvd., Dallas
When: Friday, Feb. 11, 5pm
What to know: Make your own paper lantern during this all-ages workshop and learn about the significance of the lanterns and the traditions that accompany the Lunar New Year celebration. Families are welcome to join on a first-come, first-serves basis, and kids must be accompanied by an adult.
Did we miss one? Let us know at email@example.com.
Photo courtesy of Cali-Saigon Mall