This weekend holds a variety of special occasions celebrating The Year of the Rat. The Lunar New Year is also called (by some) the Chinese New Year, although to others the two hold different meanings: According to history.com, the Chinese New Year is based on the Chinese lunar calendar, and the lunar calendar is a calendar based on complete cycles of phases of the Moon. In the easiest of terms, the Chinese New Year marks the start of a new lunar year, so although there is some debate it’s not completely out of left field to correlate the two.
To celebrate the festive holiday, all around Philly top spots are hosting special events and delicious treats, here is where to celebrate the Lunar New Year in Philadelphia.
Independence Seaport Museum
Celebrate the Year of the Rat down by the Delaware River Waterfront this weekend at the Independence Seaport Museum. According to the release, this family-friendly celebration will feature an exploration of the connections between traditions, time, tools, and water around the world. Philadelphians can check out a colorful variety of different activities including creating their own rotating calendar that explores the differences and similarities between calendars used across the seas; calligraphy with Philadelphia instructor Robert Hsu; an interactive look at water-based New Year’s traditions from around the world; observations of Chinese New Year traditions for the Year of the Rat; and more.
Jan. 25, 1 pm-3 pm, Independence Seaport Museum, 211 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia, phillyseaport.org
Inchin’s Bamboo Garden
The new Center City hotspot is pulling out all of the stops for the Chinese New Year, and if you were born in the Year of the Rat, you are really in luck. Anyone born in 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, and 2020 will be offered an exclusive Buy One, Get One promotion. If you weren’t born during those years, you still can celebrate in a truly delicious way. Inchin’s will be serving up selections of their delectable dumplings (vegetable, chicken or lamb) this weekend, which according to the Chinese culture symbolize wealth and are meant to be eaten at the start of the New Year. Inchin’s will also be serving up a delicious amount of noodles, which promote a wish for longevity, witth the belief being that the longer noodles are symbolic of the eater’s life. Inchin’s offers different noodle dishes, including Lo Mein (served traditional with shredded vegetables), Rice Noodles (served with dry red chili and curry oil), and their popular Hakka Noodles—a thin eggless noodle served with shredded vegetables. Lastly, spring rolls represent wealth, and Philadelphians can munch on Inchin’s vegetarian or dessert spring rolls to truly celebrate.
1726 Chestnut St., bamboo-gardens.com
What better way to start off the Lunar New Year than with a wellness workshop? Sabbatical Beauty, the Wellness Workshop and Irwin’s are partnering up to present a day of restoration and enrichment all in celebration of the Year of the Rat. Guests who choose to indulge in this “self-care Sunday” can indulge in a multi-step Korean beauty regime and receive a 10% discount off all products in the shop, followed by a boozy screening of Bong Joon Ho’s “Mother”. Philadelphians can also indulge in an Irwin‘s pop-up bar that will be serving beer, wine and a soju cocktail for purchase a la carte. Other treats include a make your own Boba tea station, fried chicken, autumn rolls and Korean snacks. Tickets are available on Eventbrite.
Jan. 26, 2 pm-6 pm, Bok Building, 800 Mifflin St, $20-$30