The Chinese New Year, or Lunar New Year, is more commonly referred to as the Spring Festival in China and celebrations take place over 15 days. There’s a variety of customs and celebrations throughout China and among the global Chinese diaspora, but each of the days has a special significance which you can read more about here. Of course, festivities in Hong Kong or elsewhere in China are just a short airplane ride away, but you can celebrate the Chinese Spring Festival in Tokyo’s own Chukagai (Chinatown) in Yokohama — the largest Chinese community in Japan.
- January 21/22: There will be a countdown event (incl. a lion dance) at midnight to usher in the Lunar New Year.
- January 22 (2:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.): On Lunar New Year’s Day, there will be the Chinatown Lion Dance where five lions will perform dances all around Chinatown to the tune of firecrackers and drums.
- January 28 to 29 (from 1 p.m.): At Yamashitacho Park, there will be a wide range of traditional performances that include lion and dragon dances and acrobatics.
- February 4 (from 4 p.m.): There will be an extravagant celebratory parade that loops around Chinatown and, as expected, there will be plenty of dancing and performers dressed in emperor costumes.
- February 5 (5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.): The Lantern Festival will take place.