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Lunar New Year Events 2023

Lunar New Year is a cultural celebration that marks the beginning of a calendar year based on the cycles of the moon. While the observance is most popular among Asian cultures, there are many local Lunar New Year Events to celebrate and mark the occasion.

In China, the lunar new year is known as Chinese New Year or, Guo Nian. Lunar New Year begins on the first new moon of the year, and ends 15 to 16 days later on the first full moon. Common traditions that take place during the celebration of the Lunar New Year include distributing small red envelopes with small amounts of money, lantern festivals, lion dances, fireworks, cleaning of homes to remove bad luck, and religious ceremonies.

In Vietnam, the Lunar New Year is known as Tết (Tết Nguyên Đán). Tết is the same day as the Chinese New Year except with the one-hour time difference between Vietnam and China results in the new moon occurring on different days.

Traditionally, each year also celebrates an animal of the ancient zodiac. In China, 2022 was the Year of the Tiger, 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit, and 2024 is Year of the Dragon. China and Vietnam share 10 of the zodiac calendar’s 12 signs except Vietnam replaces the rabbit with the cat and the ox with the buffalo. Thus, 2023 is the Year of the Cat in Vietnam.

Lunar New Year will be observed beginning Sunday, January 22, 2023 and ends on Sunday, February 5, 2023.

Lunar New Year Events

Lunar New Year Events In Orange County

Anaheim

Lunar New Year at Disney California Adventure Park

January 20, 2023 – February 15, 2023
1313 Disneyland Drive, Anaheim, CA 92802

Celebrate the Lunar New Year at Disney’s California Adventure with food, festivals, and character experiences. Highlights include Mulan’s Lunar New Year Processions, live entertainment, sip and savor passes for culinary experiences, festive decorations, commemorative merchandise, and crafts and activities for the kids. Don’t forget to visit the Lucky Wishes Wall with ornamental lanterns and add a special message for the upcoming year.

Costa Mesa

UVSA Tết Festival

January 27-29, 2023
OC Fair & Event Center
88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92686

The Tết Festival is a Vietnamese cultural celebration observing the Lunar New Year. This three day event includes a variety of multicultural activities, a special replica of a traditional village in Viet Nam with exhibits, galleries, and architectural models, opening ceremonies with Raising of the Bamboo, an Ancestral Altar Procession, music, food, and much more.

OC Lantern Festival

February 18, 2023 | 11AM – 4PM
Renee & Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall
600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

A free family festival commemorating the end of the Lunar New Year Celebration with music, dance, art, food, and fun. Cap off the event with expressing good wishes for the upcoming year and lighting lanterns.

Lunar New Year Celebration

January 28, 2023 | Begins at 8PM
Renee & Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall
600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Celebrate the Lunar New Year and welcome the Year of the Rabbit with music, dancing, and fusions of musical traditions from East and West, conducted by Music Director Carl St. Clair. Additional guest and performers will include Pacific Chorale, Pacific Symphony, and more.

South Coast Plaza

January 19 – February 5, 2023

See Lunar New Year displays including photo exhibits, shop limited time capsule collections from a plethora of shops, and collect highly coveted special red envelopes that many designer boutiques offer with purchase. 

South Coast Plaza Lunar New Year

January 19 – February 5, 2023
3333 Bristol Street, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Celebrate the Lunar New Year in style at South Coast Plaza with special merchandise and limited addition products, and special menus honoring the occasion. Don’t miss a visit to Jewel Court to view the botanical display, take photos, and make a new year wish.

Fountain Valley

Lunar New Year Tet Festival

January 20-22, 2023
Mile Square Park
16801 Euclid Street, Fountain Valley, CA

This Free, three day celebration for the Lunar New Year includes multicultural activities and an abundance of food. There will be live performances, traditional events, vendors, carnival rides, Vietnames Cultural Center, and more.

Lunar New Year Festival

January 28, 2023
10AM – 2PM
Fountain Valley Recreation Center
16400 Brookhurst Street, Fountain Valley

Come out for Lunar New Year Celebration Festivities

Garden Grove

Lunar New Year Festival

SteelCraft Garden Grove
Saturday, January 21, 2023 | 12PM – 10PM
12900 S Euclid Street, Garden Grove, CA 92840

SteelCraft Garden Grove hosts the a Lunar New Year celebration complete with lion dancers, drummers, magicians, singers, and more. There will also be a pop-up market and a car show during the day. Live entertainment is scheduled throughout the day from 12:15PM and running through 6PM.

Flower Street

January 21-22, 2023
Historic Main Street Garden Grove

Garden Grove’s historic Main Street will celebrate the Lunar New Year in this inaugural event. Main street will be transformed with elaborate installations, displays, and artwork. Enjoy lion dances, live musical performances, vendors, and more at this free event.

Huntington Beach

Bella Terra Luna New Year Celebration

January 22, 2023 | 11AM – 5PM

Celebrate on the green in front of the movie theater for performances, music, meet & greets, and shop from 20+ small businesses.

Irvine

UCI Lunar New Year

Tuesday, January 17, 2023 | 11AM – 8PM
UCI Student Center, Barclay Plaza & Theatre

The multicultural celebration of Lunar New Year at UCI includes a number of activities including traditions like red envelopes, dragon and lion dances, musical performances, an a nighttime light show. A street festival kicks off at 3:30 PM, but celebrations take place throughout the day.

Pretend City Lunar New Year

January 21-22, 2023
29 Hubble Drive, Irvine, CA 92618

Celebrate the Lunar New Year with the kids at Pretend City with lantern making, calligraphy, pretend dumpling making, music and movement performances, lion dancing, traveling exhibits, and more. This is a great event to expose little ones to this multicultural celebration.

Lunar New Year Celebration

Diamond Jamboree
2700 – 2750 Alton Parkway, Irvine, CA 92606
January 22, 2023

Celebrate the Year Of The Rabbit with performances, crafts, and giveaways for a happy and prosperous New Year. KKAP UCI KPOP Dance at 4:30PM, Music, crafts, giveaways, and performances at 5PM. Qing Wei Lion Dance in the Rotunda at 7PM.

Lunar New Year Celebration

Irvine Spectrum Center
670 Spectrum Center Drive, Irvine, CA 92618
January 28, 2023
11AM – 2PM

Shop for Lunar New Year gifts throughout Irvine Spectrum Center, then celebrate with a Traditional Lion Dance, martial arts demonstrations, instrumental performances, and more.

Newport Beach

Fashion Island Displays & Promotions

January 20 – February 5, 2023

Discover interactive augmented reality experiences which will offer opportunities to interact with Lunar New Year characters throughout the center, along with insta-worthy photo moments. Plus, enter to Win social sweepstakes and receive special Lunar New Year promotions.

San Clemente

D. Yoder Family Sundays Lunar New Year Event

February 5, 2023 | 10AM – 2PM
Casa Romantica Cultural Center
415 Avenida Granada, San Clemente, CA 92672

This free family event celebrates the Lunar New Year. Enjoy Lion Dance performances and many other family friendly activities.

Santa Ana

Asian Lunar New Year

January 15, 2023 | 11AM – 3PM
Bower’s Museum
2002 North Main Street, Santa Ana, CA 92706

This free family festival celebrates the Lunar New Year and the Year of the Rabbit. Enjoy art, music, dancing, face painting, art projects, food, and more. Don’t miss the lion dance or decorating paper lanterns.

Luna New Year Celebration

Saturday, January 21, 2023 | 2-5PM
MainPlace Mall
2800 N Main St, Santa Ana, CA 92705

Celebrate the Year of the Rabbit with an an array of cultural activities and performances that will both educate and entertain guests including Themed Stilt Walkers, Calligraphy Artist, Kids Crafts, Face Painter, Balloon Twister.

Silverado

Celebrate Cultures In Nature: Chinese Lunar New Year

Saturday, January 21, 2023 | 9AM – 12PM
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve Augustine Staging Area

An outdoor celebration of cultures dedicated to learning more about the Chinese Lunar New Year. Explore characteristics of people born in the year of the rabbit all while visiting the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks on an easy trail adventure.

Tustin

The District Lunar New Year Celebration

Saturday, January 28, 2023 | 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Enjoy Lion Dance performances, Martial Arts, Chinese fan dancers (youth division), stilt walkers, zebra contortionist, kids crafts, and live DJ. Plus, the first 500 guests will receive a Lucky Red Envelope with a crisp $2 bill and special savings from select tenants.  No RSVP needed, while supplies last. Stop by the AMC Courtyard between January 18th – 28th to take family photos at our lit up Year of the Rabbit Photo Backdrop to commemorate the New Year!

Villa Park

Lunar New Year Celebration
Saturday, February 11, 2023 | 1PM – 3PM
Villa Park Town Center

Enjoy a free festive event with a photo booth with fun props, red envelopes with surprises and student performances.

Westminster

Cho Hoa Flower Festival – Phuoc Loc Tho

Asian Garden Mall | January 4 – January 20, 2023
Night Food Vendors: 6 pm to 10 pm
Firecracker Celebration: Sunday, January 22 @ 12:00 pm
9200 Bolsa Ave, Westminster, CA 92683

The Asian Garden Mall hosts the annual Flower Festival where you can shop for fresh mai flowers, cherry blossoms, orchids, plants, and traditional Tết (Lunar New Year) décor. Traditional arts and crafts will also be available as well as entertainment from local musicians and food vendors will serve traditional food nightly. A firecracker celebration, where thousands of firecrackers are lit, takes place on the first day of the Lunar New Year.

Little Saigon Tet Parade

Sunday, January 22, 2023 beginning at 9:30AM
Bolsa Avenue from Magnolia Street to Bushard Street – Westminster

The annual Little Saigon Tet Parade is held in the city of Westminster. Celebrating and honoring local Vietnamese culture, the event includes activities, displays, and entertainment.


LA & SD Area Lunar New Year Events

Desert Hills Premium Outlets Lunar New Year Celebration | January 21, 2023 | 48400 Seminole Dr, Cabazon, CA 92230

Chinatown Chinese New Year Festival | January 28, 2023 | Starts at 12PM; Parade at 1 PM | 943 N Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Port of Los Angeles Lunar New Year Festival | January 21, 2023 | 3PM – 7PM | 2293 Miner Street, San Pedro, CA 90731

Lunar New Year at Santa Monica Place | January 28, 2023 | 2PM – 5PM | 395 Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica, CA 90401

The Grove Luna New Year | January 17-31, 2023 | 189 The Grove Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Asian American Expo | January 14-15, 2023 | Fairplex Pomona 2705 Fairplex Drive, Pomona, CA 91768

San Diego Lunar New Year Festival in City Heights | January 22, 2023 | 11AM – 8PM | 4455 Wightman Street, San Diego, CA

40th Annual San Diego Chinese New Year Fair | Feb. 4-5, 2023 | Downtown San Diego at 3rd Avenue & G Street

Huntington Library Chinese New Year Festival | Feb. 4-5, 2023 | The Huntington Library 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108

Chinese New Year vs Tet New Year

Both China and Vietnam follow the same Lunar New Year calendar and although some traditions are shared, others are unique to each country’s cultural identity. There is also the Korean New Year, known as Seollal, and other Lunar New Years celebrated in other Asian countries.

DifferenceChineseVietnamese
Luna New Year Name“Chinese New Year” or “Lunar New Year” or “Spring Festival” “Vietnamese New Year” or “Tết”
Time DifferenceTết is the same day as the Chinese New Year except with the one-hour time difference between Vietnam and China results in the new moon occurring on different days
Zodiac SystemOx and RabbitBuffalo replaces Ox and Cat replaces Rabbit
Popular TraditionsPopular traditions include putting up lanterns and Spring Festival couplets, eating reunion dinners full of auspicious food, setting off firecrackers and fireworks, and giving red envelopes. Popular traditions include eating a traditional cake (bánh chưng), decorating houses with hoađào (peach blossom trees) or hoamai (yellow Mai flower, a type of tree with yellow flowers).

 Chinese vs Vietnamese Zodiac

Chinese ZodiacVietnamese Zodiac
RatRat
OxBuffalo
TigerTiger
RabbitCat
DragonDragon
SnakeSnake
HorseHorse
GoatGoat
MonkeyMonkey
RoosterRooster
DogDog
PigPig

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