Skip to main content

The vybe Guide to Celebrating Chinese New Year 2019 in Philadelphia


If you’ve fallen behind on your New Year’s resolutions since January 1, you’re in luck: Chinese New Year 2019 is on the horizon, offering a perfect opportunity to crush your year’s goals with a brand new clean slate.

Chinese New Year—also known as Lunar New Year—officially happens on Tuesday, February 5, when celebrants welcome the Year of the Pig.

According to the Chinese Zodiac, those born in a Pig year have vibrant personalities and don’t mind working hard to get what they want out of life. Compare that to some of the famous folks who fall under the sign, such as Tupac Shakur, the Dalai Lama and Philly’s own producer extraordinaire Lee Daniels.

But you don’t have to be a Pig to celebrate. Philadelphia offers all kinds of ways to mark the occasion—from February 5 to the following weekend. Check out some of vybe urgent care’s favorite Chinese New Year 2019 events below—and don’t forget to bundle up and party safely.


Hit the Parades

Courtesy of M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia

If you do one thing to celebrate Chinese New Year in 2019, hit up one of the lion dance parades in Chinatown. The energetic spectacles promise a bevy of colorful Asian traditions, such as martial arts demonstrations, vibrant costumes, live music and of course the procession of the lions.

Night owls can hit up the Midnight Lion Dance at 10th and Race streets from 11:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Monday, February 4. But if that’s too late, the festivities rev up again at 10th and Spring streets on Sunday, February 10 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Both hooplas are absolutely free.

These family-friendly parades are safe to attend, but being in large, rowdy crowds could always present a chance for minor injury. If you run into a problem, be sure to swing by your nearest vybe urgent care center for a fix-up.


Get Some Fresh Air—and Dumplings!

Rail Park, courtesy of C. Smyth for Visit Philadelphia

One of Philadelphia’s coolest new urban spaces marks the Year of the Pig with an outdoor festivity of its own. Lunar New Year at the Rail Park happens Saturday, February 9 from noon to 4 p.m.

The day includes a lineup of cultural activities, such as a calligraphy lesson and a lion dance along the elevated green space. The Free Library of Philadelphia will be also be on hand with its Book Bike loaded with reads in both Chinese and English.

Guests can keep their bellies warm with food truck fare, like steaming dumplings and hand-pulled noodles and egg rolls. But warm grub can’t always ward off the sniffles. Be sure to look us up if you happen to catch a cold at this or any other open-air event this winter. We have seven locations spread across town.


Celebrate Where It’s Warm

Courtesy of International House Philadelphia

If all this outdoor activity has you shivering just thinking about it, consider an lion dance and Chinese New Year celebration at the International House Philadelphia on Thursday, February 7 at 7 p.m.

Located in University City (where vybe just opened a brand new location!), the fête brings all the visual spectacles of the Chinatown parades—a lion dance, live music, martial arts demonstrations and gorgeous costumery—indoors.

The best part? Sang Kee Noodle House restaurant will be in the house serving delicious authentic cuisine. Admission for the evening is $20 for adults.


Make Your Own Chinese New Year Celebration

Looking for more of a low-key way to ring in the Year of the Pig? Here’s a fun DIY option void of any crazy crowds.

First, swing by Bread Top House in Chinatown for a mooncake—a treat that’s traditionally enjoyed in the Chinese culture during lunar celebrations. The dense, cookie-like pastry is typically filled with red bean or lotus seed pastes, and pairs deliciously with a steaming, healthy cup of green tea.

Chinese Galleries, courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

After that, head to the Philadelphia Museum of Art to check out the newly renovated Chinese galleries. The new space boasts all kinds of new features, like more-comfortable furniture and LED lighting, and an array of relics dating back 4,000 years. Feast your peepers on intricate sculptures and tapestries and furniture and home trinkets used ages ago in traditional Chinese abodes.

However you decide to celebrate the Chinese New Year, be sure to do it safely. Wear layers to stay warm, keep your wits about you at the festivals and for goodness sakes don’t eat too many mooncakes, If something does happen to go wrong—or if you have an ailment that just won’t go away—we’d love to see you at vybe urgent care. Happy Year of the Pig!


Featured image courtesy of  G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia.