Where to celebrate Lunar New Year in San Diego

SAN DIEGO (FOX 5/KUSI) — Asian communities across San Diego and the world will ring in the Year of the Dragon this weekend as Lunar New Year celebrations begin to take place.

The Lunar New Year begins with the first new moon of the lunar calendar and ends 15 days later on the first full moon.

The lunar calendar is based on the cycles of the moon, meaning the dates for the annual holiday vary slightly each year, though they fall between late January and mid-February.

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Also known as the Spring Festival in China, Tet in Vietnam and Seollal in Korea, each year of celebration honors an animal based on the Chinese zodiac. This year, the dragon will take center stage. This zodiac year is said to “symbolizes power, energy and water.”

More about the beliefs, customs and traditions regarding the Lunar New Year can be found here.

For those looking to partake in celebrations this month, here are some local events taking place to honor the occasion:

Chinese New Year Fair

Located at Balboa Park’s House of China at the International Cottages, this event will be held Feb. 17-18. Attendees can expect to see dragon dances, martial arts, Taiko drummers, and more. There will also be a food court filled with dumplings, egg rolls, boba tea, and other Asian fare.

Lunar New Year Tết Festival

Head on over to Mira Mesa Park Feb. 16-18 for this free festival, which includes an extensive lineup of entertainment. There will be Asian theater, a fashion show, karaoke, and more than 45 vendors. From ube desserts and saigon sandwiches, this event will also have plenty of food options.

San Diego Lunar New Year Festival

This three-day celebration — held at Jeremy Henwood Memorial Park Feb. 9-11 — will be filled with folk and traditional performances, arts and cultural exhibitions, lion dances, firecrackers, and plenty of family fun activities for children. It’s also a free event.

Lunar New Year Dumpling Party

Join the party Feb 10. at the Taiwan Center in Kearny Mesa. Organizers say attendees can expect “a cozy and fun afternoon of dumpling making. Vegan friendly options will be available. There will also be origami and an array of games to be enjoyed among friends and family. Tickets are $10 per person and cover food.

Lunar New Year at San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo is inviting guests to “celebrate good fortune” at the park Feb. 17-18. Activities include making wishes on the zoo’s wishing tree, making dragon drum crafts and paper lanterns, as well as receiving red envelops with gifts inside. There will also be a special Lunar New Year menu.

Lunar New Year at SeaWorld San Diego

Slated for Feb. 10-11, this event will feature cultural performers like Taiko drummers and dancers, many of which are locals. SeaWorld said there will be “Asian-inspired offerings of fried rice, chow mein, bao buns, beef bulgogi, and more.” There will also be some wish making taking place for all in attendance.

May you and yours be filled with happiness in the Year of the Dragon.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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