5 Ways to Celebrate the Chinese New Year in Cleveland This Week


  • Photo via Kwan Lion Dance/Facebook
We may be well into 2019, but the Chinese lunar calendar restarts today. Yes, Feb. 5 kicks off the Year of the Pig (the pig is traditionally a symbol of wealth and good fortune), and Cleveland is celebrating Chinese New Year in style with multiple events through the weekend.

Starting off, the Cavaliers host their fourth annual celebration tonight at 7 as part of a league-wide initiative to pay tribute to international fans. Tonight's game will not only be streamed live in China, where the NBA and Cavs are particularly prominent, but will also include a special halftime performance by jugglers (and former Acrobats of China) Wen-jing & Pei Pei. Find out more here.

Also tonight, Case Western Reserve University's Tinkham Veale Center will shoot off fireworks starting at 8 p.m. Fireworks (which have been banned in China in the past due to pollution) are traditionally used as a method to scare off the Nian, a legendary lion-dragon chimera that comes out of hiding to attack on New Year's.

Asiatown, meanwhile, hosts its festivities this weekend with the Kwan Family Lion Dance group, a Cleveland staple for 40 years, performing daily in lion costume with percussion accompaniments. Inside the Asia Plaza (2999 Payne Ave.), Li Wah serves up Dim Sum — dumplings are a New Year's staple. Meals begin at 7 p.m. on Friday and Sunday and require reservations. Saturday, however, is first-come-first-serve beginning at 11 a.m. Find out more here.

For extra good fortune during the celebrations, wear red, traditionally considered the luckiest color (but if you're hitting up the Cavs game, wine and gold will likely suffice).

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