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Panda Express Is Giving Away Its New Firecracker Shrimp for Lunar New Year

Courtesy of Panda Express

Lunar New Year is a time for fireworks, delicious food, and red envelopes filled with cash. In honor of the holiday, Panda Express is celebrating in a couple of unique ways, including a huge free food giveaway.

First and foremost, there's new food: Panda is launching a brand new entrée called Firecracker Shrimp. The fragrant menu item is made with succulent shrimp, slivered onions, red and yellow bell peppers, string beans, and spicy whole dried chiles -- all of which is smothered in a sticky black bean sauce tossed in a fiery wok. And in keeping with new year resolutions, Firecracker Shrimp also happens to be one of the chain's Wok Smart item, meaning it has at least 8g of protein while being 300 calories or less. 

In addition to the introduction of Firecracker Shrimp, Panda Express is also giving out over one million red envelopes filled with a coupon to receive a free order of Firecracker Shrimp and a Coca-cola product, so if you're curious about trying the new menu item but don't want to commit it to your two entrée order, you can still sample the zesty limited time offering, according to a spokesperson. 

Lastly, in keeping up with all the new filters that other quick service restaurants have also launched, Panda has created five festive AR experiences to use on both Facebook and Instagram. Among the filters includes a game where you can catch falling egg rolls in your mouth or chuck firecrackers at mischievous spirits to eliminate bad luck in the new year.

"Every year, we at Panda celebrate the first day of Lunar New Year by gifting lucky red envelopes to all of our guests," Andrea Cherng, chief marketing officer at Panda Express, said in a statement. "The Lunar New Year holiday is at heart about coming together to bring and share joy and good fortune. As a holiday that is deeply rooted in our culture, we are honored to bring millions of people together to celebrate Lunar New Year through our crave-worthy food and our new digital experience."

Like Lunar New Year, the Firecracker Shrimp will only be around for a limited time -- so don red for luck, catch a falling egg roll and post it to IG, and hurry to your nearest Panda location to get a bite.

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Kat Thompson is a staff writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @katthompsonn