Where to Celebrate Chinese New Year in Paris

Where to Celebrate Chinese New Year in Paris

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Chinese New Year in Paris
Chinese New Year parade in Paris

Xin Nian Kuai Le! Gong Xi Fa Cai!! (Happy New Year! Wishing you happiness and prosperity!) These are greetings you’ll be hearing throughout Chinese communities around the world in the coming days and weeks as they welcome in the year 4722 on the lunar calendar.

February 10, 2024 marks the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year, ushering in the Year of the Dragon. Success and surplus for those born under this sign. The Vietnamese New Year (Têt) also starts on the same day.

Chinese New Year in ParisAlso called the “Spring Festival”, it’s time for cleaning house, decorating your house with scrolls of auspicious sayings and generally a lot of red décor, hanging lanterns, visiting relatives and friends, indulging in huge celebratory feasts, launching fireworks, and passing out red envelopes filled with money (lai see) to children, single adults, and people who work for you. The more lai see you dish out, the more good luck you receive! See HERE for more on Chinese New Year traditions.

With the Chinese population in France estimated to be over 500,000, it’s no wonder that there is a thriving Chinese community in the capital city. And when the Lunar New Year – the biggest holiday of the year for Chinese everywhere – rolls around, Parisians join in the celebrations big time!

Chinese New Year in ParisEach year, the main Asian communities in Paris go all out to celebrate, over nearly three weeks packed with cultural activities and colorful parades. Hundreds of thousands of Parisians flock to these areas to enjoy the festivities. Here’s a guide to where and when to join in the fun!

And before you head out, book a table for a Chinese feast with your family and friends! Check out INSPIRELLE’s Favorite Chinese Restaurants in Paris.

2024 Chinese New Year Activities in Paris

(NOTE: Always check the official website links for last-minute changes in scheduling for big gatherings.)

Chinese New Year in ParisFAUBOURG ST. HONORÉ (8th arrondissement)

On Tuesday, February 13th, this chic Parisian neighborhood hosts a colorful parade featuring dragons, lanterns, and 30 artists from Paris Lion Sport, a group of percussionists dressed in dazzling costumes, to welcome the new year in style. The parade starts at 1:30 p.m. at the corner of Faubourg Saint-Honoré and Rue Royale. Check HERE for more details.

BELLEVILLE (10th, 11th, 19th and 20th arrondissements)

One of the city’s main Asian communities is Belleville, home to many Chinese immigrants from Wenzhou, and the surrounding Zhejiang province. On Saturday February 3rd at 2 p.m., head to 56 rue de Belleville in the 20th arrondissement to catch the dragon’s awakening and its festive parade accompanied by dance performances and martial arts demonstrations. Or come early and sample delicious street food like dumplings, malatang (hot pot) and bubble tea – a mini-preview of the Belleville Food Market planned for February 15. Check HERE for more details.

CHINATOWN (13th arrondissement)

True to tradition, the hub of Asian (mainly Chinese, Vietnamese, Cambodian and Laotian) culture and commerce in Paris has a rich, two-week program of activities to kick off the lunar new year, including concerts, performances, conferences, screenings and storytelling. The highlight will surely be a gigantic parade on Sunday, February 18th. Around 2000 performers from 40 organizations put on this spectacle of lions and dragons, fireworks, dancers, martial arts and music for an estimated 200,000 spectators who line up along the streets to watch the colorful procession. The parade starts at 1:30 p.m., but it’s recommended to arrive at 12 p.m. to secure a spot. The best places to watch are along Avenue d’Ivry, Avenue de Choisy, Place d’Italie and Rue de Tolbiac. Check HERE for more information.

 

Photo courtesy of Lois Delmas

DRAGONS AND LANTERNS FESTIVAL  (Jardin d’acclimatation)

For the very first time, the Lantern Festival of the famous Yu Garden in Shanghai is taking place outside of China in Paris’ 16th arrondissement. The charming Jardin d’acclimatation is hosting the festival through February 25, so head over for a magical nighttime stroll through over 1000 lanterns while discovering extraordinary creatures, Chinese craft workshops, Asian gastronomy, folk dances and songs, and more. Check HERE for more information.

MUSÉE CERNUSCHI AND MUSÉE GUIMET (8th & 16th arrondissements)

The city’s two main Asian art museums are offering a slew of activities and events for the whole family. February 10 and 11 at the Cernuschi, kids can learn to draw a dragon or attend a marionette show featuring the magical Monkey King. At the Guimet, in addition to painting workshops and storytelling, the façade of the building will be lit up at night with colorful dragon images. And don’t miss the evening of screenings, round-table discussions and dance performances planned for February 21, ending in a cocktail hour. Check HERE and HERE for more information about the programs.

Image by pikisuperstar on Freepik

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