Where to celebrate Lunar New Year around Connecticut

Lunar New Year — also known as Chinese New Year — is celebrated on Jan. 22, beginning the start of a new lunar cycle.

During the celebration period, which begins with the first new moon of the year and ends with the first full moon, those who celebrate hold feasts, gather for social events and honor their ancestors, according to History.com. The tradition goes back as far as 3,500 years, with some scholars believing it began sometime in the Shang Dynasty of the Chinese Empire (which ended in 1046 B.C.,) according to the Timothy S. Y. Lam Museum of Anthropology. 

Each new year is named after one of the 12 animals of the zodiac. This year marks "The Year of the Rabbit" and those born during the Year of the Rabbit are predicted to be kind, restrained and scholarly, according to the chinesenewyear.net.

While those in China celebrate with an entire week of public holidays, there are several ways right here in Connecticut that residents can celebrate on or around Jan. 22 by dancing or chowing down on some food.

Here is where to celebrate Lunar New Year around Connecticut:

Lunarfest performances at the New Haven Free Public Library
New Haven

The Julong Wushu lion dance troupe will be performing at the New Haven Free Public Library on Jan. 28, according to Yale-China.

There will also be a shadow puppet show hosted by OompaPossum Puppets artistic director Kimberly Van Aelst.

More information about Lunarfest performances at the New Haven Free Public Library here.

 

 

Lunarfest Parade by Yale-China
New Haven

Dancing lions from the Wan Chi Ming Hung Gar Institute of New York City lead New Haven’s 9th Annual Lion and Dragon Dance Parade on February 8, 2020.

Dancing lions from the Wan Chi Ming Hung Gar Institute of New York City lead New Haven’s 9th Annual Lion and Dragon Dance Parade on February 8, 2020.

Peter Hvizdak/Hearst Connecticut Media

A Lunarfest parade, filled with dancers dressed like lions, is set to take place on Jan. 28 at Whitney Avenue.

More information about the Lunarfest Parade here.

Lunar New Year Gala 2023
Fairfield

This event at the Roger Ludlowe Middle School on Jan. 21 is filled with Chinese food like roast pig and ginger scallion lobster, according to Allevents. There will also be music, a family fashion show and dances. 

Lunar New Year Slime and Cucumber Salad teen event
Hartford

Motion Abstract Background of Glittering gold Particles with lens flare, Defocused gold Particles on red Background. Christmas and Celebration events background, Chinese new year background

Motion Abstract Background of Glittering gold Particles with lens flare, Defocused gold Particles on red Background. Christmas and Celebration events background, Chinese new year background

MR.Cole_Photographer/Getty Images

The Albany branch of Hartford Public Library is celebrating Lunar New Year by hosting an event for teens during which they will make red slime out of kits that contain glue, glitter and a contact solution. In Chinese culture, the color red is used to symbolize luck and good fortune and it can be used to "ward off evil spirits," according to Little Bins for Hands

Cucumber salad will also be served during the event on Jan. 24, according to its website. 

Lunar New Year popup
Junzi Kitchen, New Haven

Junzi Kitchen hosts a Tanghulu pop-up Jan. 29 at 2:30 p.m., featuring live demonstrations of the candied fruit skewer treat (known as a quintessential northern Chinese winter dessert, Junzi notes on Instagram.) 

"This colorful and festive treat marks every Chinese millennial’s childhood memory and this Lunar New Year, we are bringing it to Manhattan and New Haven!⁠" the post reads. 

 

Chinese New Year Celebration for Year of the Water Rabbit
Stamford

UConn Stamford is hosting a celebration on campus, which features dance performances, food and cooking demonstrations on Jan. 22, according to the Chinese Language School of Connecticut's Facebook page

Lunarfest celebrations at the New Haven Museum
New Haven

Master Xing Qi-Lin, a master teacher of Tai-Chi culture and martial arts and a fourth generation lineage master of "Li's Tai Chi,"gives a demonstration with students at Yale's Luce Hall during New Haven's 7th annual Lunar New Year festival on February 17, 2018.

Master Xing Qi-Lin, a master teacher of Tai-Chi culture and martial arts and a fourth generation lineage master of "Li's Tai Chi,"gives a demonstration with students at Yale's Luce Hall during New Haven's 7th annual Lunar New Year festival on February 17, 2018.

Peter Hvizdak/Hearst Connecticut Media

Kung Fu and Tai Chi demonstrations and short classes by the New England Asian American Cultural Center will be held at the New Haven Museum on Jan. 28.

Guests will also have a chance to go to a workshop where they can build their own Chinese dragon.

More information about Lunarfest celebrations at the New Haven Museum here.

 

Lunar New Year specials
Chef Jiang, Farmington

Best Chinese (Experts' Pick): Chef Jiang, Farmington

Best Chinese (Experts' Pick): Chef Jiang, Farmington

Winter Caplanson

Chef Jiang offers two Chinese New Year packages that feed up to 10 people, available from Jan. 20 to 22. Dishes include soy-braised special platter, marinated chicken, stir fried lobster, roasted whole duck, scallop and squid mixed soup, sweet and sour fish and other specialties. Reservations are required. 

 

Celebration at the The Shoppes at Buckland Hills
Manchester

The Asian Performing Arts of CT group will be hosting a dance performance at The Shoppes at Buckland Hills on Feb. 4, according to its website.

Lunar New Year specials
BouNom Bakery, Avon

BouNom will offer special buns this weekend in honor of the Year of the Rabbit, featuring Chinese sausage, hard boiled egg and pork sausage wrapped in its milk bread. The buns are available for pre-order on Jan. 20.

 

 

 

Year of the Rabbit doughnuts
Deviant Donuts, Mystic

These orange blossom-glazed "Year of the Rabbit" doughnuts are part of Deviant Donuts' fifth-birthday menu this weekend, but will only be available in the Mystic shop. 

 

Open Mic with performers Jook Songs
New Haven

Yale's official Asian & Asian American spoken word group, Jook Songs, will be performing at the Office of International Students & Scholars at Yale on Jan. 28, according to Yale-China. Guests will also have a chance to do some spoken word of their own using an open mic. 

Lunar New Year Rabbit Puppet
Hartford

Guests at the Hartford Public Library can make a rabbit puppet on Jan. 27.

More information about Lunar New Year Rabbit Puppet here.

Lunarfest at the Creative Arts Workshop
New Haven

Guests can learn how to make their own Chinese New Year calligraphy greetings on Jan. 28 at the Creative Arts Workshop, according to Yale-China. 

The workshop is also hosting a gallery exhibition of "Băng Qua Nước: Across Land, Across Water," which features art of Vietnamese landscapes. 

Celebrate Lunar New Year with the Farmington Library
Farmington

Guests at the Farmington Library can listen to Chinese-inspired music and eat snacks on Jan. 22, according to its website.