Chinese New Year is the most important holiday in China, and it’s just as important in countries with a significant Chinese population.
Because the holiday is based off of the lunar calendar and the moon’s orbit around Earth, the date changes every year.
Celebrations this year run for two weeks, Feb. 5-19.
The Chinese calendar runs on a 12-year cycle with each year attributed to a different zodiac animal — 2019 is the Year of the Pig.
Those born in the Year of the Pig (1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019) are said to be realistic and a bit materialistic, which serves as a catalyst for their hard-working nature. They have a great personality and are blessed with good fortune. Men born in pig years are focused, optimistic and gentle, whereas women born in pig years are easygoing, friendly and very sociable.
Holiday celebrations center around friends, family, food, good luck and good fortune — and setting off firecrackers at all hours of the day to ward off evil spirits.
If you’re looking to join in on Chinese New Year celebrations, check out these Charlotte events and a few food recommendations.
Learn to make dumplings at East Voyager Academy
When: Noon to 7 p.m. on Feb. 2
Where: 7429 Tuckaseegee Road
What: From noon to 2 p.m. there will be a kids performance and food tasting, followed by another performance and raffles from 2-5 p.m. There’s also a dumpling-making session from 5-7 p.m.
Enjoy the Charlotte Chinese New Year Festival 2019 at the Peaceful Dragon
When: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Feb. 2
Where: 12610 Steele Creek Road
What: This year will be the organization’s 22nd annual Chinese New Year Festival. The event requires a $5 per family admission fee. However, if you bring a donation of non-perishable food items for the Loaves and Fishes charity, the fee is waived. You can expect traditional lion and dragon dance performances, plus demonstrations of Chinese martial arts and health arts, including Kung Fu, Tai Chi and yoga.
Watch a traditional dragon dance at New Asia Market
When: 9-11 a.m. on Feb. 9
Where: 4400 Potters Road, Stallings, NC
What: One of the area’s most popular Asian grocery stores will host traditional dragon dance performances in the morning. Shop around while you’re there and be sure to stop by the restaurant counter for an authentic meal.
Grab a lobster from Lam’s Kitchen
You absolutely can’t go wrong with the Lam’s Hong Kong-style lobster that’s lightly fried and cooked with lots of garlic and dried chilis, topped with cilantro and green onions. It’s located at 1369 Chestnut Lane in Matthews.
Welcome the Year of the Pig at Resident Culture’s Chinese New Year Celebration
When: 5 p.m. on Feb. 8.
Where: 2101 Central Ave.
What: The Dumpling Lady will be on site with her noodles (for long life in Chinese traditions) and legendary dumplings. They’ll also have a traditional lion dance at 6:30 p.m. Details.
Try the Sichuan boiled fish CHUAN Wang Fu
This place formerly served sushi, hibachi and typical Chinese takeout items, but the menu has since been revamped with authentic dishes, including Sichuan boiled fish, spicy and sour shredded potato and numerous other Sichuan-inspired items. It’s located at 8418 Park Road.