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Where to celebrate Lunar New Year around the world

By Rachel Chang

Dancing dragons, fizzing firecrackers, and red radiating from every corner: This time of year brings a distinctively festive atmosphere to the more than one billion people across the Asian diaspora who welcome a fresh start through Lunar New Year rituals that usher in good luck, health, and fortune. Although each culture has its own take and traditions—most will ring in the Year of the Rabbit on January 22, although the Vietnamese will honor the cat—the 15-day celebration is largely geared around family gatherings, symbolic foods, and showstopping parades.

After years of pandemic-related postponements and sized-down adjustments, for many 2023 marks a return to massive festivities. But as you’ll discover in the guide below, what that means depends on where you are, be it in a city of 26 million in Asia, an enclave of thousands in North America, or even a single street in Singapore, where red envelopes—the time-honored tokens of prosperity—reign supreme. We also dive into how the traditions have changed for one nomadic family as they’ve moved around the world, explore what Lunar New Year has meant to some Chinese international students in America who haven’t been able to get home during the last three years because of travel restrictions, and ask prominent Asian Americans, from comedians to chefs, to share their own Lunar New Year traditions—and their favorite places to experience Asian food and culture.

Chinese traditional dragon lantern illuminated at night

7 Asian destinations for can’t-miss Lunar New Year festivities

From Shanghai to Singapore.

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Woman shopping for Chinese New Year decorations

How Margaret Cho, Dale Talde, and others celebrate

Five people, five Lunar New Year traditions.

Animated image of chopsticks, dumplings, and boba tea
Dim Sum for Lunar New Year

A Lunar New Year food tour of 5 North American cities

Soup dumplings, sweet rice cakes, and more.

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Lion dancers in the celebration of Chinese New Year in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

How moving around the world rooted my family to Lunar New Year

Our traditions have taken many years—and many places—to develop.

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Shopping in Singapore’s Chinatown during Lunar New Year

Where to find the best red envelopes in the world

In Singapore’s Chinatown, a single street reigns supreme.

Animated image of chopsticks, dumplings, and boba tea
Overhead shot of mandarins chocolate from Lunar New Year candy box

Spending Lunar New Year abroad when getting home isn’t an option

Chinese international students amid years of travel restrictions.

Animated image of chopsticks and lanterns