Where to Celebrate the Chinese New Year in Cincinnati

Ring in the Year of the Rat with these parties and events

click to enlarge Where to Celebrate the Chinese New Year in Cincinnati
Photo: Oriental Wok

Not looking forward to the Year of the Rat? Fear not: The first animal in the Chinese Zodiac has little to do with the actual rodent. In the zodiac, each animal represents unique characteristics of various personality types. This year’s animal, the rat, is actually a symbol of wealth and surplus, and is thought to represent the beginning of a new day. If the Rat is your zodiac, it is thought that you are creative, value organization, are smart with finances and  , (according to China Highlights tour company).

All Chinese zodiac animals have different omens pending their year, good and bad. For instance, Rats: Look out for the numbers 2 and 3, as the zodiac insists they could be lucky for you. Blue, gold and green are your lucky colors, but stay away from yellow and brown, and the numbers 5 and 9. 

If you’re not a Rat, this year can still be yours, too. Maybe you got a late start on your New Year resolutions these first few weeks of January and need to hit the reset button. Maybe you’re curious about Chinese culture. Or maybe you’re just looking for a good time. And whether you’re worried about what good fortune comes your way, or how you’re going to celebrate properly, Cincinnati is in the New Year spirit with these events that are ringing in the Year of the Rat in style.

Shanghai Chinese Orchestra New Year Celebration

Memorial Hall is hosting the Shanghai Chinese Orchestra to celebrate music and the New Year in true Chinese fashion and tradition. According to an event write-up, "After more than half a century development, SCHO now turns into a large-scale integrated national orchestra embracing four sections, that is, the stringed, plucking, wind and percussion voice, and thus accumulated a number of classic works and projects." A festival will take place before the show commences, allowing time to socialize and connect with showgoers, friends and family. 6 p.m. pre-concert festival; 8 p.m. show Friday, Jan. 24. $15-$55. Memorial Hall, 1225 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, memorialhallotr.com.

Daspo’s Lunar New Year Party

Daspo is yet again hosting their Chinese New Year Party here in Cincinnati and this time, they’re taking the new year celebrations to Energy Nightclub. This year will see two full dance floors provided so more people can join the festivities and music. This could be your chance to get last year’s bad mojo out of your system one last time before embarking on the Year of the Rat. 9 a.m. p.m.-2:30 Saturday, Jan. 25. $5 ages 21+; $10 ages 18-20; Interest in VIP contact 859-307-9285.Energy Nightclub. 700 W. Pete Rose Way, Downtown, godaspo.com

Chinese New Year at the Below Zero Lounge

Ten years after their original Chinese New Year Celebration, Below Zero Lounge is bringing it back for 2020’s Year of the Rat. Speciality cocktails prepared in celebration of the new year will be available. Bring in the Chinese New Year and join hostess Quasi and DJ Penny Tration for a night of drinks, dancing, fun and new beginnings. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25. Free admission. Below Zero Lounge, 1120 Walnut St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/BelowZeroLounge.

Chinese New Year Party at Oriental Wok

It's possible that Oriental Wok in Fort Mitchell throws the best annual Chinese New Year party in the city. On Feb. 9, the restaurant will be offering a 10-course Chinese dinner with cultural performances from the likes of the Cincinnati Lion Dance Group and Bing Yang Chinese Dance Team and music from China and the US Cultural Exchange Academy. The Wong family will also be setting off 100,000 firecrackers. It's best to RSVP for this big bash because it always sells out. 6 p.m. Feb. 9. $125; $45 ages 4-12. Oriental Wok, 317 Buttermilk Pike, Fort Mitchell/Lakeside Park, orientalwok.com.

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