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February 2nd, 2024

A Local Guide to Celebrating Lunar New Year in San Francisco

Travel Tips

Lunar New Year in San Francisco's Chinatown is one of the grandest celebrations in the entire U.S.! San Francisco is lucky enough to be home to North America's first and largest Chinatown, lending itself to both a deep history and rich culture - especially during Lunar New Year! Chinatown comes alive with all kinds of events, exhibits and experiences. Read on to learn more. Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Chinatown SF

History of Chinatown 

San Francisco's Chinatown was formed during the California Gold Rush in 1848, when Chinese immigrants flocked to the area. They came to America in search of gold, and Chinatown became their new home base. However, despite facing discrimination and exclusion, they united and developed Chinatown as a place to protect their culture and traditions. Thus, North America's first Chinatown was established. With its pagoda-style architecture, vibrant signs, delicious smells and crowded sidewalks, a stop here will make you feel like you transported outside of San Francisco!

Lunar New Year Parade SF Chinatown

Lunar New Year 2024 Parade & Events

Lunar New Year is heavily celebrated in San Francisco with events, exhibits, and experiences all month long throughout both Chinatown and The City as a whole! Enjoy dragon dances, lion dances, and participants wearing traditional costumes parade throughout the city. There will also be street fairs held in Chinatown where food stalls will sell delicious sweet and savory Asian food, and shop owners will have arts and crafts on display. You can participate in traditional cultural experiences, games, and performances all month long! 

Summary of Events:

  • Flower Market Fair | Feb 3 (10am-6pm) & Feb 4 (9am-6pm) Located on Grant Ave. Between Sacramento and Broadway
Held on the weekend before Lunar New Year Day, the Flower Fair marks the beginning of the Lunar New Year festivities! Come purchase fresh flowers, fruits, candies and brand new supplies to bring into your home for the new year. Over 120 booths and concessions make this a shopper's paradise. 

  • Choy Sun Doe Day | Feb 10 (11am – 2pm) Portsmouth Square
Witness the auspicious Choy Sun Doe tradition, where lucky red envelopes are distributed to children! Choy son, the God of Wealth is a diety that blesses everyone he encounters with much prosperity and abundant wealth. 

  • Miss Chinatown USA Pageant | Feb 23 (5pm – 11pm) Hilton San Francisco in Union Square

Don't miss the dazzling Miss Chinatown U.S.A. Pageant & Coronation Ball! The search for contestants is initiated each fall by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce. Each year's winners become goodwill ambassadors for the Chinese community throughout the new lunar year. 

  • Chinese New Year Parade | Feb 24 (5:15pm - 8pm) From Market & 2nd St. to Kearny & Jackson

Experience the world-renowned Chinese New Year Parade, filled with illuminated floats, vibrant costumes, and lively performances! The parade started in the 1860s and has since grown to be one of the largest celebrations of Asian culture in this hemisphere! The parade will be stepping off at 2nd and Market St. Detailed route map below.

Lunar New Year Parade Route 2024

  • Community Street Fair | Feb 24 (10am – 4:30pm) & Feb 25 (9am - 5pm) Located on Grant Ave. Between Sacramento and Broadway

The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce is hosting a 2-day community street fair! Immerse yourself in traditional dances, music, food and crafts with over 120 booths and concessions! And make sure to get a photo with the giant puppets, dragon and other memorable artifacts from the Parade!


Chinese food - Chinatown - SF

Enjoy Traditional Cuisine

Many San Francisco Chinese food restaurants and teahouses will have special menus and culinary events during Lunar New Year. You should especially take advantage of various traditional Chinese foods, including dim sum and hand-pulled noodles, during this time of year! Enjoy local, family recipes at the restaurants along Grant Avenue and throughout Chinatown. Here's a few of our top picks:

  • China Live - 644 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133 
Their seasonal menu uses sustainable, farm-to-table practices and is personally curated by Chef Chen. 

  • Yank Sing - Two Locations: 101 Spear Street, San Francisco, CA 94105 | 49 Stevenson Street San Francisco, CA 94105 
A contemporary take on traditional dim sum, guests can enjoy from over 100 rotating dishes served from traditional dim-sum pushcarts.

  • R&G Lounge - 631 Kearny St, San Francisco, CA 94108
Some of San Francisco's most iconic Cantonese cuisine that has been serving its patrons since 1985.

This restaurant takes authentic Shanghainese home cooking for a spin by fusing them with fresh local ingredients. 

  • Mister Jiu's - 28 Waverly Place, San Francisco, CA 94108 
Feeling fancy? This contemporary Chinese American restaurant is located in historic Chinatown and holds a Michelin Star

Hunt for Dragons 

San Francisco is celebrating the Year of the Dragon with 5 unique dragon statues hidden throughout the city. They'll be showcased from January 28th to March 2.

Dragon Zodiac on Parade - Chinatown Lunar New Year SF

For a limited time only, participate in our Great Dragon Challenge to win a FREE Lunar New Year Specialty Cocktail! Join our Instagram contest and show off your San Francisco dragon spotting skills!

Here's how to enter:

  1. Follow @stanfordcourtsf on Instagram. 
  2. Snap selfies with 3 out of the 5 Lunar New Year dragon statues hidden around San Francisco. 
  3. Post a carousel on your Instagram feed (3 photos total, 1 for you with each dragon) and make sure you:
  4. Share your in-feed post to your Instagram story and be sure to tag @stanfordcourtsf

That's it! You're officially in the running to win:

  • FREE Lunar New Year Specialty Cocktail
  • Custom Fortune Cookie (and who knows what your fortune will be!)

Contest Rules:

  • Must be at least 21 years old to enter. 
  • Free drinks must be redeemed before 2/29/24. 
  • Contest ends on 2/29/24.
  • Winners will be notified through Instagram DM.
  • Prize subject to availability. 
Let's Celebrate the Lunar New Year Together!

Book your stay at Stanford Court Hotel to be walking distance from all the festivities. We are just steps away from San Francisco's Chinatown, where Lunar New Year events are happening all month long. Plus, we'll be joining in the fun too! With Lunar New Year Specialty Cocktails and custom fortune cookies - come join this major San Franciscan tradition from your home-base at the top of it all!

Come alive this Lunar New Year - Gong Xi Fa Cai! 🐉❤️



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