Whether or not you are Vietnamese or Chinese, Lunar New Year is a beautiful celebration of family, friends and the new year.  My children are half-Vietnamese and I feel very blessed that they are able to experience even a part of that culture here.  But were they not half, I would still feel blessed to have the opportunity to show my children other cultures, traditions and history.  It is my greatest hope that my girls will have a love of world travel, and an openness to a life/culture/tradition/food that may differ from theirs, no matter where in the world they may land.  I share this with you because I too hope that you might feel the same way.

I’ve rounded up a few local events or celebrations for the New Year (this being the year of the pig) below.  You can check out your Vietnamese Zodiac sign or Chinese Zodiac sign as well (they are rather similar but do differ).  P.S.  I am a monkey just in case you were curious. 🙂

UVSA Tet Festival

The UVSA Tết Festival (Hội Tết Sinh Viên) of Southern California is the largest Vietnamese New Year festival in the nation.  Our family had a great time last year enjoying the food, checking out the entertainment, and hitting up the rides (yes, they do have carnival rides).  Fun fact from last year:  I learned that my youngest will eat anything if served to her on a stick.

WHEN | Friday, February 8th, 4 – 10 pm; Saturday, February 9th, 11 am – 10 pm; Sunday, February 10th, 11 am – 9 pm

WHERE | OC Fair & Event Center – Lot I and Los Alamitos Building

COST | $6 general admission, children 2 and younger are Free, Parking is $9
** Special pricing on Saturday, February 10th, from 11 am to 1 pm, free admission for guests wearing scout uniform, military uniform, or traditional Vietnamese attire.

Segerstrom Concert Hall

KIDS

Join Pacific Symphony for a special fun-filled Lunar New Year for Kids concert celebrating the Year of the Pig! Explore the legends and stories through a musical feast of Eastern and Western music as we celebrate this joyous annual festival observed by many Asian cultures here in Orange County and across the world!

WHEN | Saturday, February 9th.  Performances at 10 am and 11:30 am.  There will also be an interactive Musical Carnival in the concert hall lobby at 9 am (for 10 am concertgoers) and 12:15 pm (for 11:30 concertgoers), where kids can test drive a musical instrument, meet the performers, and enjoy musical arts and crafts activities themed to the morning’s concert.

WHERE | Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall

COST | Tickets start at $15

ADULTS

Join Pacific Symphony’s annual festivities honoring the Lunar New Year! Celebrating the Year of the Pig, this performance is sure to sell out once again as audiences from across our communities come together to feast on a colorful presentation of Eastern and Western music and dance.  View the Program.

WHEN | Saturday, February 9th at 8 pm

WHERE | Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall

COST | Tickets start at $28

Argyros Plaza

Free event in Argyros Plaza.  Enjoy cultural performances ranging from traditional Chinese folk dance to contemporary K-pop.  View Performance Schedule.

WHEN | Saturday, February 9th, 5:30 pm – 7:45 pm

WHERE | Julianne and George Argyros Plaza

COST | FREE, Parking Fees Vary

South Coast Plaza

In addition to a photo exhibit and special in-store promotions, South Coast Plaza will play host to a variety of weekend entertainment during Lunar New Year featuring traditional Asian cultural performances and new talents, including Lion Dance, UniStar Children’s Variety Show, ETTV Top Idol singers, Megan Lee, the Silk Road Band and more.

Children can also assemble decorative Lunar New Year lanterns celebrating The Year of the Pig at the craft station from 1 – 4 pm in Carousel Court. The lanterns are complimentary.

WHEN | Saturday, February 9th and Sunday, February 10th from 1 – 4 pm

WHERE | South Coast Plaza – Carousel Court, Level 1

COST | Free

Bella Terra

Bella Terra in Huntington Beach is hosting various activities in celebration of Lunar New Year, including performances and a Dragon Parade.

WHEN | Saturday, February 2nd – The Dragon Parade will wind through Bella Terra at 12 AND 2 pm with a complete performance in the Pavilion Event Plaza featuring colorful costumes, drums, gongs, cymbals and skilled displays of dance and movement. Kids craft stations open from 12 – 3 pm.

Saturday, February 2nd –  Traditional Chinese guitar performance from BENJI NGUYEN.  4 – 5 pm.

Saturday, February 9th – Galaxy Art Center performs traditional Chinese music, song and dance. 1:30 – 3 pm

Sunday, February 10th – Chinese ribbon dancing is a traditional art form that originated in ancient China. Using sharp, rhythmic movements and long colorful ribbons, dancers perform to traditional music.  3:30 – 4:30 pm

WHERE | Bella Terra (Huntington Beach) – Pavilion Event Plaza

COST | Free

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