Chinese New Year

San Francisco's Chinatown stands ready to celebrate the Spring Festival.

In just a week, Chinese New Year kicks off! And we want to give you plenty of notice so you can start planning how — and where — you’ll celebrate. Also known as the Spring Festival, this holiday consists of two weeks of feasting, lion dances, lantern lighting, and much more. After all, it is the most important holiday in the Chinese lunar calendar, so festivities necessitate indulgence. Millions of people around the world will celebrate with gorgeous decorations, rich foods, and stunning firework displays — and we here at Oyster can’t wait to get in on the action at some of our favorite Chinatowns around the globe. We’ve got you covered on where to ring in the Year of the Snake, but no matter where you choose to kick things off, Oyster wishes you a prosperous new year or, as they say in Mandarin, Gong Xi Fa Cai! Read More »

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With the Year of the Dragon fast approaching, Chinese communities across the U.S. (and everyone who likes a good party) are gearing up for the host of events that will take place starting on January 23 as part of the New Years’ celebration.  San Francisco, New York and LA all have a long list of parades, traditional performances and balls — but it’s where you’re kicking up your heels at night that matters. Several of our favorite hotels have created special packages for you to enjoy — and partake in — the Chinese New Year celebration.

Dragon Gate in Chinatown, San Francisco, CA

Dragon Gate in Chinatown; San Francisco, CA

SAN FRANCISCO

Boasting the largest Chinatown in the country, it’s no wonder San Francisco has some of the best festivities.  You might have missed the Flower Market Fair, but you can still get tickets here for the traditional concert given by the San Francisco Symphony Chinese New Year Community on February 11; take part in the 34th annual Chinese New Year Run rolling through Chinatown on February 19; enjoy the parade on February 11, and head to the zoo on January 29 to catch some acrobatic performances, tricks and more specialized family fun.

Where to Stay: Omni San Francisco Hotel
The 362-room Omni has spacious, quiet rooms and terrific service that’s on par with some of San Francisco’s best (and most expensive) hotels. Décor is tasteful and classic, the on-site steakhouse is outstanding, and the property is just steps from Chinatown and public transportation.

Lobby at the Omni San Francisco Hotel; San Francisco, CA

Lobby at the Omni San Francisco Hotel; San Francisco, CA

Chinese New Year Package: Accommodation in a Deluxe Room, two tickets for bleacher seating on the parade route, fortune cookie amenity and free valet parking for one vehicle, for $385 per night.

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Last year's (Year of the Ox) Chinese New Year's Parade in San Francisco

Last year's (Year of the Ox) Chinese New Year's Parade in San Francisco

[Flickr/davidyuweb]

Gung Hay Fat Choy! Happy Chinese New Year to you! This holiday has been a big deal in San Francisco ever since the gold rush in 1847 started bringing Chinese immigrants into California in large numbers, and is a great cultural event to bring your little (or big) ones to. Lots of colorful costumes, firecrackers and yummy food to boot! Although the actualy Chinese New Year is on Valentine’s Day this year, most of the festivities take place on February 27th. Here’s how to get the most out of your day:

Chinese New Year’s Parade – Did you know that the idea of a Chinese New Year’s parade was actually concieved in San Francisco during the 1860′s? Before then, parades in honor of the holiday didn’t exist in China or anywhere else. Now the city’s is one of the largest of its kind worldwide. Attend the parade to see dragons, dancers and firecrackers exploding over the streets. While the most scenic place to watch is in the heart of Chinatown, it can get pretty crowded, so you might be better off watching from the starting point at Second and Market. Stay at the Palace Hotel and you might even get to watch from the comfort of your room!

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