Ring In the Lunar New Year in Austin at These Year of the Dragon Events
Good fortune, good times, and great festivities for a fiery Year of the Dragon.
February 10 marks the start of the Lunar New Year, which is celebrated around the world by many Asian communities. Not only does this holiday kick off a massive amount of festivities, but it also symbolizes a time of rebirth and an opportunity to gather with loved ones. And, with multiple events happening around the city of Austin, you can get into the spirit of the Year of the Dragon with markets, special meals, and traditional performances. Not to mention, you can get deep into some mooncakes as well. Here’s where to find some fun Lunar New Year events in Austin this month.
Korean restaurant, Oseyo, is already our go-to Austin spot for spicy kimchi jigaes, japchaes, and a whole lot of delicious banchan. And, this month, they are bringing their flavorful fantasies even further up a notch at their Lunar New Year Celebration. In addition to their usual menu, they will be offering a special version of dduk mandu guk, a dumping and rice cake soup served during the holiday (and purported to bring good luck to those who finish their full bowl). There will also be food and beverage collaborations with local favorites Thai Fresh and Hold Out Brewing, as well as a chance to participate in a traditional intention setting ceremony.
February 10, 11 am–5 pm
North Austin, Free admission
One of the things we heart most about living in the Austin area is the seemingly endless opportunities to hit up vintage markets for great finds and unique threads. And, with the recently opened East side brewery, Austin Beerworks, hosting local artisan market, Austin Flea, for a holiday-themed shop-palooza, this Lunar New Year is no exception. You can browse the wares of local AAPI vendors for luscious bath bombs, colorful screen-prints, retro denim, and many more treasures.
Central Austin, Free admission
Lunar New Year is very much about bringing in the new energy for the upcoming months, which makes brand new restaurant incubator space, Playground ATX, an especially appropriate place to fête for Tết. Their first pop-food food concept, East Meets Wings, will be debuting a new Asian-inspired, street food menu at the event — featuring dishes such as congee with egg and Chinese donuts. As well, every guest who comes to Playground will receive a red envelope filled with coupons and discount codes for future visits.
February 10, 8 pm
At Soupleaf’s Lunar New Year celebration, you can watch the simmering of the hot pot and the vibrant energy of a traditional lion dance all at the same time. While there, shabu-shabu to your heart’s content with a selection of Soupleaf’s normal menu of pork belly and brisket, as well as special event add-ons like lobster and wagyu. Your mealtime fun concludes with an enchanting display of the lion dance, which is performed with the intention of chasing away evil spirits and welcoming good luck for the upcoming year.
February 10, 1–2pm
North Austin, Free admission
Experience the full cultural impact of Lunar New Year at Austin Community College’s Lunar New Year Festival. While there, you can witness performances from a variety of East and Southeast cultures, including a lion dance, tai chi, and other forms of dance and music. And, even though it's on a college campus, the event is not just for coeds, but a celebration perfect for all ages.
February 12, 5–9 pm
Wu Chow Downtown
Wu Chow Downtown’s Lunar New Year Party has all the ingredients for a night as wonderful as their soup dumplings are tasty. The event promises speciality versions of their signature tiki cocktails, as well as a bunch of scrumptious appetizers, including egg rolls—which are served on Lunar New Year as a symbol of wealth and prosperity. After some sips and snacks, you can enjoy a performance by lion dancers as they parade throughout the restaurant. And, with the night benefitting local animal shelter, Austin Pets Alive!, you can justify your partying with a good cause.
February 17, 10 am–4 pm
East Austin, Free entry
Start off the next twelve months on a sweet note, by bouncing on over to East Austin pastry paradise, OMG Squee. The dessert shop, which was featured in an Austin episode of Queer Eye, is going big with a blow-out party to honor the Lunar New Year, as well as the business’ fourth anniversary. It’s a given that OMG Squee will be serving up some tasty kawaii treats, including their trademark macaroons and butter mochi donuts in flavors exclusive to the bash. You can then ride out the resulting sugar rush with a drink from the bar, tunes from DJ Mike Swing, a performance of a lion dance, and wares from the event’s pop-up market, which features vendors from the local AAPI small business community.
February 18, 11 am
East Austin, $10 suggested donation
For the third year in a row, East Austin’s most adorable stationary shop, The Paper + Craft Pantry, is hosting an epic Lunar New Year party at their base in Springdale General. The family-friendly event has lots for the wee ones to enjoy, such as face painting and story time. However, with a market featuring over 30 vendors of Asian descent, traditional dance performances, and origami demos, there’s plenty of good times for grown folks as well.