Celebrating New Year’s is not just an event for Americans in the United States. The Lunar New Year is celebrated in many different Asian countries, and this year you can get a small taste of what it’s like right here in Sonoma. Lunar New Year in 2022 will start on Tuesday, February 1st, ushering in the Year of the Tiger.
Ways to Celebrate the Lunar New Year in Sonoma
The Redwood Empire Chinese Association and the Museum of Sonoma County will be hosting a celebration at the museum on Saturday, February 5th from noon to 4pm. The event will be free and will be hosted mostly outside. There will be lions and dragon dance performances, cultural dancers, tai chi and martial arts demonstration.
If you are willing to go for a bit of a drive, head to San Francisco’s Annual Chinese New Year parade on Saturday, February 19th at 5:15pm. Starts on Market St > Geary St > Post and ends on Kearny St.
Best Chinese Restaurants in Sonoma County
- Lily Kai’s in Petaluma, one of Sonoma County’s best Chinese restaurants, carries all the traditional favorites. We’ll start with Crab Cheese Wontons and Fried Lemon Chicken with a side of prawn fried rice. Vegetable Chow Mein anyone?
- China Village in Santa Rosa, has not only good food but a great atmosphere. They have all your traditional favorites – fried rice, noodles, etc. – but they also have a dim sum menu (little dishes) that gives you ton of variety.
- KS Tian Yuen Restaurant in Windsor, features modern Asian cuisine and it is delish! Try the clay pot – piping hot noddle or rice with a protein on top – so good. They have noddle soup, fried rice, orange shrimp and kung pao chicken. Open for lunch or dinner and now with a location in Cloverdale.
History (so you don’t come off as a dummy)
The Lunar New Year (or Spring Festival) is a holiday that is celebrated by many different countries across Asia: China, Vietnam, Korea, Tibet, and more. This celebration lasts from the first day of the year (according to the lunisolar calendar) and ends on the first full moon of the lunar calendar, 15 days later.
There are many varied traditions that accompany this holiday. One is “sweeping the grounds,” thoroughly cleaning one’s house to remove bad luck from entering the new year. You might get together with family or take part in religious ceremonies to honor your ancestors. Famously, dancing and fireworks are a popular tradition. Finally, the Lantern Festival is held on the last day of the new year’s celebrations. During this time, lanterns are abundant, and families share traditional foods.