A dragon ball
10 lively Lunar New Year events to toast the Year of the Dragon in Houston
The Lunar New Year officially starts on Saturday, February 10, ushering in the Year of the Dragon. Also known as Chinese New Year, the celebration marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring. Southeast Asians honor the occasion around the globe, and especially here in Houston, which boasts a vibrant community.
With that in mind, we've rounded up a list of vibrant, energetic celebrations and events all over the city,
Houston Botanic Gardens
(through February 25)
1 Botanic Ln.
The Houston Botanic Gardens dazzles with Radiant Nature, a dazzling and stunning immersive exhibition that takes inspiration from the Lunar New Year and showcasing many Chinese-inspired works. Produced by Tianyu Arts & Culture, more than 50 paper lanterns light up the collection across the garden, making it a breathtaking sight at night. Make sure to visit the Chinese pagoda and the enormous, 200-foot dragon.
(Friday, February 9 through Sunday, February 11)
Locals could hole up in a downtown hotel all weekend and never run out of things to do for Lunar New Year. Once downtown, check out a series of Lunar New Year celebrations to celebrate in the Year of the Dragon all weekend.
Lee's Golden Dragon's popular drummers will perform at downtown's Lunar New Year Festival + Night Market.Photo by Lee's Golden Dragon/courtesy of Downtown Houston
A big event awaits on Saturday, as Downtown Houston+ presents the Lunar New Year Festival & Night Market at Market Square Park. Free to the public, the event boasts a dynamic lineup, featuring live performances by the popular Lee’s Golden Dragon, We8 Dance Troop, and Unity Lion Dance. Along with dazzling performances, visitors can explore a night market with more than 30 local street food and art vendors. Don't miss an after party scheduled at Bravery Chef Hall.
Be sure to register at the Eventbrite page here to receive a commemorative 2024 red envelope filled with treats and trinkets from the neighborhood, while supplies last.
The Lee's Golden Dragon dragon dancers at the Lunar New Year Festival.Photo by Lee's Golden Dragon/courtesy of Downtown Houston
Lunar New Year Food Festival at Conservatory Food Hall
(2 pm Saturday, February 10; 2 pm Sunday, February 11)
606 Dennis St.
Midtown’s Conservatory Food Hall is a groundbreaking collective of food artists that helps promote small businesses and sustainable food in Houston. Over two days, the chefs under their roof will be presenting a variety of dishes meant to highlight the wide cultural traditions across Asia. The hall will be filled with delicious smells from 15 different eateries and the music of DJ Traxion.
(7 pm Friday, February 9; 11:30 am Saturday, February 10; 11:30 am Sunday, February 11)
23119 Colonial Pkwy Suite B-2, Katy
Ushering in the New Year deserves a feast, and Phat Eatery in Katy has a special one prepared. The specialty family-style menu includes Yu Sheng “Prosperity Toss” (House-cured Scottish salmon, pickled carrot and cabbage, radish, sesame seed, plum sauce, cracker, sesame oil); smoked duck wrap (Roasted, house-smoked duck, Persian cucumber, scallion, roti wrap, cumin pineapple hoisin reduction); seared sea scallops; short ribs, and black sesame ice cream from HTX Nitro Creamery. Lion dancers will also be on hand.
Asia Society of Texas
(11 am to 4 pm, Saturday, February 10)
1370 Southmore Blvd.
Lunar New Year at Asia Society of Texas.Photo courtesy of Asia Society of Texas
As a local hallmark of all things Asian culture, Asia Society of Texas has an extensive itinerary planned to celebrate the Lunar New Year. In addition to the traditional dances, food, and crafts, they’re offering something called a Dragon Quest. Community organizers will take visitors on an educational journey across China, Vietnam, South Korea, and the Philippines learning about the history of various cultures through activities.
Lunar New Year dance performances at Asia Society of Texas.Photo courtesy of Asia Society of Texas
Visitors who complete the quest will receive a prize. Puppet making and good luck banners are some of the other crafts that will be on hand to try out.
Lunar New Year at the Chinese Community Center
(10 am to 4 pm Saturday, February 10)
9800 Town Park Dr. in Westchase
The annual event at the CCC has been going on for more than 20 years. Not only does it host the dragon and tiger dances that are so iconic to the Lunar New Year, the festival features traditional Asian crafts, arts, food, and other vendors. Learn Chinese calligraphy, origami, and more. It’s basically a miniature convention. Best of all, the event is totally free, including parking.
Children’s Museum of Houston
(11 am to 6 pm Saturday, February 10)
1500 Binz St.
To keep Lunar New Year completely kid-centric, the Children’s Museum has a wide range of activities for the day. Over in Junktion, visitors can make puppets and banners as well as moving dragon’s breath. The Houston Grand Opera will present an interactive storybook, and various dance troupes will perform. Kids will have a chance to take photos with some of the elaborate and colorful dancer costumes.
Lunar New Year performances at Children’s Museum Houstton.Photo courtesy of Children’s Museum
Otaku Food Festival at Karbach Brewing Co.
(Noon to 10 pm Saturday, February 10; noon to 4 pm Sunday Feb. 11)
2023 Karbach St.
If you’re looking to celebrate the Lunar New Year with an anime twist, this is the festival for you. This free event is hosted across two days and contains more than 100 vendors. A number of them will be selling statues, DVDs, manga, and other anime culture items. There will also be a sumo competition. Food is the focus, everything from Asian street foods to baos and boba tea. Organizers encourage visitors to bring cash.
Lunar New Year at Discovery Green
(5 pm to 7 pm Sunday, February 11)
1500 McKinney St.
Lunar New Year at Discovery Green.Photo courtesy of Discovery Green
One of Houston’s most famous dragon dance teams will take the Anheuser-Busch Stage at Discovery Green. Since 1974, Lee’s Golden Dragon has captivated audiences across the south with their elaborate costumes and incredible drum corps. Discovery Green will also have local vendors of Asian food and crafts.