Out with the rabbit, in with the dragon. The Lunar New Year is coming and Arizona is ready to celebrate!

The Lunar New Year — also known as Chinese New Year and the Spring Festival — is a 15-day long celebration recognizing the start of spring and the new year on the traditional Chinese lunisolar calendar. It is a time where families can reunite and be together.

LEARN MORE: 8 Arizona restaurants among Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat

It is one of the most important times in China as well as in other Asian countries — such as South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines. It’s also observed in communities with a sizable overseas ethnic Chinese population; San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York City are examples. The holiday takes place between Jan. 21 and Feb. 20, starting on Feb. 10 this year.

According to Chinese legend, Lunar New Year started as a way to ward off Nian, a beast that terrorized villagers. To overcome this threat, villagers would hang up lanterns, make loud noises and decorate their homes in red. Now, these traditions carry on with modern-day touch-ups.

Other parts of Lunar New Year festivities include the reunion dinner, lion and dragon dances, money-filled red envelopes, and the use of fireworks and firecrackers.

In Phoenix, the Lunar New Year is a chance for Arizonans to learn more about and engage with Chinese and other Asian cultures. Phoenix Chinese Week’s 34th annual Chinese Culture and Cuisine Festival was one of these outlets. The two-day festival showcased a wide array of booths; vendors sold souvenirs and trinkets, taught calligraphy and mahjong, and cooked a variety of different ethnic dishes. Festival goers saw, smelled, heard and tasted everything.

If that sounds interesting, here are other events around Arizona to celebrate the Lunar New Year.


Lunar New Year Asian Food Festival

Nom Nom Events and Metro Phoenix Night Market are holding a free event. 18 food and 27 retail vendors will be present. As Nom Nom Events puts it, “This food festival is about highlighting the diversity of food and an opportunity for small businesses to show their culture through their food. Arizona is growing in population and events like this highlight our ethnic diversity.”

  • Date: Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024
  • Time: 4 p.m. — 9 p.m.
  • Where: 822 East Union Hills Drive, Phoenix, AZ 85024

Lunar New Year Block Party Celebration

Chandler Ranch is holding a celebration at their shopping center to welcome in the new year. Lion dancers, caricature and balloon artists, live music and more await. This is a free event the whole family can enjoy.

  • Date: Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024
  • Time: 1:30 p.m.
  • Where: 1920 West Chandler Boulevard, Chandler, AZ 85224

Chinese New Year Banquet

Phoenix Chinese Week is inviting the public to its Chinese New Year Banquet to celebrate the Year of the Dragon. The banquet will have a 10-course dinner, entertainment, raffle prizes and a silent auction. Those interested must RSVP and purchase their dinner tickets by Feb. 12. Cancellations will not be refunded after Feb. 12. You can order the dinner tickets here.

  • Date: Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024
  • Time: 6:30 p.m.
  • Price: $78 per person
  • Where: Great Wall Restaurant, 3446 West Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ 85017

Lunar New Year 2024 at AZ International Marketplace

16 food vendors. A photo booth. Cultural dances. A fashion show. Music. This is what you can expect at the AZ International Marketplace during its Lunar New Year celebration. The event and parking is free.

  • Date: Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024
  • Time: 3 p.m. — 9 p.m.
  • Where: AZ International Marketplace, 1920  West Broadway Road, Mesa, AZ 85202

There are many things to do to welcome in the Lunar New Year and Arizona is ready to celebrate. Happy Lunar New Year!