Gong Hei Fat Choy! Lunar New Year has arrived and we couldn’t be more excited. Over 1 billion people celebrate in China and many other Asian countries, in honor of ancestors and cherished deities.
Lunar New Year, observes the first new moon of the Lunisolar Calendar, filled with 15 days of traditional meals at family gatherings, as well as fireworks and parades to ward off evil spirits.
The Lunisolar Calendar also aligns with the Chinese 12-year animal zodiac in which an animal is celebrated all year long. This year, in 2023, is ‘The Year of the Rabbit’ begins on January 22nd and ends on February 9. The rabbit is said to be a symbol of longevity, peace, and prosperity. And so, 2023 is predicted to be a year of hope. The Lunar New Year celebrations in metro Detroit typically start sometime between late January and continuing through mid February.
In addition to food being the center of new year traditions, families also use fireworks, vibrant dragons, lanterns, attend parades to see the lion dance and more. Here are some of the ways you can immerse yourself into the cultural traditions in your own home and backyard.
Part of the Detroit Riverfront 'Winter at Valade' festivities enjoy a Lunar New Year celebration on the award-winning Detroit Riverfront. Featuring a lion dance, dragon parade, dragon dance, Taiwanese cultural display and much more.
2022 Lunar New Year Celebration at the Detroit Riverfront
Enjoy a fun-filled Lunar New Year event that features Asian traditions from the past and present. There will be live performances, a fashion show, food sampling, a raffle, twisted rabbit balloons and more. No registration required.
Food and Restaurants
Some of the celebratory foods eaten during Lunar New Year include spring rolls, dumplings, rice balls and fish —to bring about good luck throughout the year, of course. While many families probably already have recipes handed down to them, if you are looking for a great place to dine instead, here’s some of our favorite Asian restaurants in the metro Detroit area to head to celebrate Lunar New Year:
The Peterboro is a casual restaurant located in Detroit's Historic Chinatown serving contemporary American Chinese food with an extensive bar menu featuring craft cocktails, beer, wine, sake and sherry. Recently reopened this December, check out their all-new cocktail menu.
Experience a full-blown traditional Lunar New Year experience by Chef Ava Yau at Frame in Hazel Park. This event will bring a fusion dim sum experience following her recent travels to Indonesia and Thailand.
With locations in Detroit, Novi and Redford, Pho Lucky is a small locally-owned restaurant with a menu completely dedicated to the cuisine of Vietnam. They specialize in serving up delicious Pho and even have a special Pho challenge where you have to eat 2lbs of beef and 3lbs of noodles in under an hour!
Started in 2008 by four Vietnamese sisters – Anh, Kelly, Jenny & Julie – Bambu Desserts and Drinks is the place to go for a colorful treat. Choose from a variety of bubble teas and Vietnamese drinks. Maybe even drink out of fresh coconut. Add french macarons, mochi, or pandan waffles.