Celebrate the Lunar New Year with Food and Drink at These Houston Events

Photo by Phing
The Chinese New Year is all about celebrating friends, family and food!
The Chinese year 4712 begins on January 31, 2014, and Houston is ringing it in with style. There's a huge Chinese population here, and we love a good party, so all over town in late January and early February people will be celebrating the new lunar year, which lasts until the moon is full, around February 15.

This year is the zodiac year of the horse, which dates back 2600 B.C., when the legendary Yellow Emperor named each month after an animal (the other animal signs are ox, monkey, tiger, rabbit, rooster, rat, dragon, snake, sheep, dog and pig). People born in the year of the horse are said to be hardworking, intelligent and kind.

Every year, the Chinese celebrate a new lunar cycle with festivals involving firecrackers, traditional lion and dragon dances, red lanterns and big family meals.

And the meal part is where we come in. We've rounded up all the Chinese New Year events featuring food and drink for your feating pleasure. Happy New Year!

Photo courtesy Gigi's
Join Gigi's for dumplings, dim sum and Champagne.
Gigi's Chinese New Year @ Gigi's Asian Bistro and Dumpling Bar
Friday, January 31
7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Dumplings and dim sum, anyone? Gigi's Asian Bistro is ringing in the new year with traditional food and Champagne cocktails, as well as music by DJ Gino, Hao Lion Dancers and, um, according to the press release, "naked fortune cookies." Sounds like an adventure, whatever it is. The hosts, Gigi Huang, Jared Lang and Christopher Mendel, request that you come "dressed to kill...Shanghai style." To attend, email rsvp@onthemarkcom.com.

Nara's Lunar New Year Menu @ Nara
Friday, January 31 through Thursday, February 6
5 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Enjoy a five-course dinner prepared by chef Donald Chang at Nara in honor of the Lunar New Year. The traditional menu, which costs $75 per person, will feature a Korean chives and lettuce salad followed by a Korean New Year mondoo (Korean meat-filled dumpling) and rice cake soup. Next will be a kobe beef and sesame leaf omelet, then Korean braised short rib with abalone porridge. Finally, for dessert, guests will get red bean soup with a sweet sesame rice cake. Reservations are required, and can be made by calling Nara at 281-249-5944.

2014 Lunar New Year Festival @ Chinese Community Center
Saturday, February 1
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

One of the biggest Lunar New Year events in Houston will take place at the Chinese Community Center, which aims "to bridge East and West by enriching families with educational, cultural, and social service programs." The celebration will primarily highlight traditional Chinese dances (as well as a few Japanese, Korean and Mexican dances, 'cause, you know, it's Houston), but we're more interested in the tea ceremony and Asian food available for tasting and purchase at an outdoor marketplace. The event is free, and children are welcome.

This story continues on the next page.

Location Info


Chinese Community Center

9800 Town Park, Houston, TX

Category: General

Nara Sushi & Korean Kitchen

2800 Kirby Drive, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Gigi's Asian Bistro and Dumpling Bar

5085 Westheimer, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Summer Street Studios

2500 Summer St., Houston, TX

Category: General

Boheme Cafe & Wine Bar

307 Fairview, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Asia Society Texas Center

1370 Southmore Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: General

Fung's Kitchen

7320 Southwest Fwy, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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