The 2018 Lunar New Year—the year of our best friend the dog—begins on Feb. 16. It is the annual spring celebration that historically honored Asian gods and ancestors. Today it continues to be an important celebration for families of Asian ancestry, as they gather, feast and hope for good fortune and prosperity in the year ahead.
The celebration traditionally is observed for 16 days. On New Year’s Eve, Feb. 15, families get together for dinner. In China, celebrations end with a Spring Lantern Festival on March 2. To learn more about Lunar New Year’s customs, visit www.chinahighlights.com.
The 12-year lunar zodiac cycle features a different lucky animal each year. If you were born in the year of the dog—1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006 or 2018—you appreciate the value of money and power. You are in the company of such famous individuals as Winston Churchill, George Gershwin, Prince William, Michael Jackson, Ellen DeGeneres and, hold on to your dog bone, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Donald Trump.
Free (unless noted) Local Lunar New Year’s Festivities
Now through Feb. 21, Silicon Valley Asian Art Center: New Year’s exhibit of 25 paintings of dogs by 14 Bay Area artists and one from Shanghai. Location: 3777 Stevens Creek Blvd., Santa Clara, in the Central Computer Building (www.artshu.com). Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
Feb. 16, 3 p.m. – 11 p.m.; Feb. 17 & 18, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., San Jose Vietnamese New Year-Tet Festival: Live entertainment, talent contests, fashion and magic show, carnival, food, vendors and lots more. Location: Eastridge Mall, 2200 Eastridge Loop, San Jose. Information: www.facebook.com/events/1642131902513298/
Feb. 17, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., San Jose Museum of Art: Community day of art-making activities, cultural demonstrations, live performances, and Lion Dance with photo-op from 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.. Location: 1110 South Market St., San Jose (www.sjmusart.org).
Feb. 17 & 18, noon – 4 p.m., Children’s Discovery Museum: Make calligraphic art, watch lion dances, play with four-legged friends from the Humane Society Silicon Valley, and more. Location: 180 Woz Way, San Jose (www.cdm.org). Paid admission.
Feb. 18, noon, Santana Row: Lion performances begin at Sino then proceed to Straits and Roots & Rye restaurants. Red envelopes and weekend specials.
Feb. 24, San Francisco parade—acclaimed as one of the largest in the world—plus many other activities on other dates. For information visit www.sftourismtips.com/chinese-new-year-san-francisco.html.
March 4, noon – 3 p.m., Chinese New Year Celebration at History Park: Live performances, including a Lion Dance, and kids’ hands-on activities. Location: 635 Phelan Ave., San Jose (chcp.org).