The Lunar New Year, also sometimes referred to as Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, is celebrated by Asian cultures across the globe each year around January or February. It is considered one of the most important festivals of the Chinese calendar, but is referred to differently according to the country. In Japan it is referred to as Japanese New Year, in Korea as Seollal and Tsagaan Sar in Mongol. This year, the Lunar New Year will be celebrated from February 10, 2013 to February 24, 2013. The best resources for celebrating Lunar New Year in Minnesota include the following.

The Whole Kids Club Chinese New Year Celebration
Whole Foods Market
3060 Excelsior Blvd.
Minneapolis, MN 55416
(612) 927-8141

Price: $5 Whole Kids Club Members/$8 Non-Members

Children interested in celebrating the Lunar New Year can attend a drop-off cooking class and celebration with Chef Ani at the Lake Calhoun Whole Foods Market on February 10, 2013 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. The class will include the meaning of Chinese astrological signs and the history of the Chinese New Year. Additionally, children ages five to 14 will get a chance to make Chinese treats like veggie egg rolls and shrimp pot stickers. To attend the Whole Kids Club Chinese New Year Celebration, children must be registered no later than 48 hours before February 10th.

“Shen Yun”
Orpheum Theatre
910 Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403
(800) 982-2787

The Minnesota Falun Dafa Association will be presenting “Shen Yun” on February 22 and February 23, 2013. ShenYun showcases over 5,000 years of Chinese dance and music through battle drums, vocalists and animated backdrops. This 2013 will also be the year “Shen Yun” unveils all new programs with almost 100 artists, 400 costumes and both Western and Chinese instruments. Although New York based, “Shen Yun” performs in over 100 cities which include New York and Paris.

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(credit: CBS)

The Japanese Garden
9700 France Ave. S.
Bloomington, MN 55431
(952) 358-8145

Although the New Year in Japan has been celebrated on January 1, according to the Gregorian calendar, it was once celebrated according to the Chinese Lunar calendar. There are some areas, however, that continue to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Normandale Community College’s Japanese Garden is a great place to visit for those who would like to celebrate the Lunar New Year in a quieter atmosphere than typical celebrations and it is open year round.

(credit: Jupiter Images)

(credit: Jupiter Images)

Festival of Nations
Saint Paul RiverCentre
175 W. Kellogg Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55102
(651) 647-0191

The Festival of Nations provides a great opportunity to take part in a number of not only Asian activities, exhibits and performances but many other cultures as well. Performances by the Ethnic Dance Theatre and other folk dance groups perform in the Roy Wilkins Auditorium each Thursday and Friday. There are also over 50 cultural exhibits to interact with, all while getting a passport stamped as if visiting each country.  Demonstrations by 28 authentic folk artisans include Chinese Calligraphy and Chinese Lingnam Flowers and Bird Painting.

Exploring Chinese New Year
Plymouth Library
15700 36th Ave. N.
Minneapolis, MN 55446
(612) 543-5825

On February 9, 2013, the Plymouth Library will host a two-part Lunar New Year event. The first part will explain why the holiday is on a different date each year as well as provide information on how families prepare for the festival and chase away bad luck to welcome good fortune. The second part of the event will include a musical performance with a guzheng, a stringed instrument used during the Qin and Tang Dynasties.

Related: Best Bilingual Extracurricular Activities For Kids In Minnesota

Christina Majaski is a full-time legal assistant and freelance writer for online and print publications. She has an obsession for all things related to social media and invites you to follow along with her on Twitter @cmajaski. She currently resides with her daughter in central Minnesota. Her work can be found at