Chinese New Year is on February 7, followed by 15 days of celebrating the Spring New Year Festival.The Chinese New Year is symbolized by a different animal each year. The animals are signs of the zodiac and rotate every twelve years. This year is “The Year of the Rat”. Last year was “The Year of the Pig.”
Whether you are Oriental or not, it is fun to take part in the festivities surrounding New Year. Chicago’s Chinatown hosts the Lunar New Year Parade on February 10. Even if you can’t attend the parade, there are celebrations and special dinners at the Chinese restaurants in the city. Following are some of the special Chinese New Year events in Chicago.
Lunar New Year Parade
February 10, 2008
The Chinatown New Year Parade steps off at 1:00 pm on Wentworth from 24th to Cermak Road. The parade in Chinatown is commemorating “The Year of the Rat.” The parades features marching bands, floats, lion teams a 100′ Mystical Dragon and Miss Friendship Ambassador.
Chicago’s Chinatown is an eleven block area just south of the Chicago Loop, and several blocks west of McCormick Place Convention Center. Two major landmarks are the massive On Leong Tong Building; Chinatown Gate at Wentworth and Cermak; and Chinatown Square. Chinatown, which was originally settled by Chinese immigrants, is now a community of over 10,000 residents.
Chinatown is fun to visit, even when there isn’t a parade going on. Visit the colorful shops selling Chinese imports. Stop and eat the authentic Chinese food at the Chinatown Restaurants. Some of the restaurants in Chinatown include Emperor’s Choice, Evergreen Restaurant, The Phoenix Restaurant, Royal Dragon Restaurant, Three Happiness, Seven Treasures Cantonese and Chi Cafe casual style Hong Kong.
Ben Pao Chinese Restaurant. Ring in Chinese New Year 4706 at Ben Pao. The New Year dinner at Ben Pao is Febraury 7, from 6-8 pm. The celebrations includes exclusive signature “lucky” drinks, such as the Eight Ball cocktail or Absolute Luck cocktail. Special food includes “Good Fortune Wonton”, Gold Coin Crab Cakes and Long Life Noodles. A professional fortune teller will be on hand for consultations. 1-312-222-1888.
Shanghai Terrace, The Peninsula Hotel on the Magnificent Mile. Shanghai Terrace is notable for intensely flavored Shanghainese and Cantonese dishes, excellent service and its 1930’s supper club atmosphere. Shanghai Terrace celebrates the year of the Rate is Chinese New Year Afternoon Teas, Chinese New Year dinner menu and The Lion Dance. The Lion Dance will take place in the Lobby and Shanghai Terrace on February 9. Chinese New Year Afternoon Tea will be held February 4 – 9 between 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm. The Chinese New Year Dinner menu will be offered from February 6 – 18. On the 14th the Valentine Day menu will be offered. 1-312-573-6754.
Opera Chinese Restaurant will hold their 5th Anniversary & Chinese New Year Wine Dinner on Thursday, February 7 at 6:30 pm. 1-312-461-0161.
Information is subject to change.
Happy New Year!
Read about Chi-Town’s Navy Pier in February.
Read Healthy Eating in Asian Restaurants.