Red paper with the Chinese character "Fu" and firecrackers decoration on the wall for Chinese New Year. (📷: Lily Leiva)

Orchid Daze at Atlanta Botanical Garden is a perfect exhibition to start your Chinese New Year. (📷: Atlanta Botanical Garden)

How to Celebrate Chinese New Year in Atlanta

Chinese New Year is one of the most important festivals in China. It marks the first day of the Chinese Lunar Calendar. This year is the Year of the Ox, starting Feb. 12. People born in the Years of the Ox — 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997 and 2009 — are believed to be dignified, hard-working, courageous and responsible. 

Atlanta’s diverse culture, international shopping and dining scene create a great opportunity to feel and experience the vibe and culture of Asia during Chinese New Year. Here are some fun activities and things to do to get a taste of Chinese New Year while social distancing.

Find red lanterns at Coton Colors in Buckhead. (📷: Julie Minear)

Check out Asian Supermarkets

From Buford Highway Farmers Market to Great Wall Supermarket in Duluth, you can always find the perfect place to shop for exotic ingredients and international flavors. Here are some popular items you can get from those markets to celebrate Chinese New Year at home:

Shoppers can find exotic fruits and vegetables in Buford Highway Farmers Market. (📷: SBell)
A typical hot pot setup: a pot with soup at the center of the table and raw foods ready to be cooked. (📷: Silei Li)

Sweep and Decorate your Home

Be prepared for the New Year by cleaning your home and decorating it with red decorations one week ahead. Remember to sweep the floors, furniture, walls and every corner of your home as it means sweeping out the bad luck from the past year and welcoming the upcoming good luck. Similarly, display the red decorations on your doors and walls as they frighten the bad luck away and deliver best wishes.

Decorate with red paper showing the character “Fu” and firecrackers. (📷: Lily Leiva)

Order Authentic Chinese Takeout

Want to enjoy an authentic, festive and flavorful Chinese meal on New Year’s Eve? You can’t go wrong on Buford Highway. Here are some Chinese restaurants organized by cuisine and cooking style along the famous Buford Highway.

Try Chinese barbecue takeout from Crazy Skewers. (📷: Silei Li)

While few of them are open for dine-in or outdoor seating, most of them are still offering takeout by online order or phone. Please check available options on websites or by phone call.

Listen to Chinese New Year Songs

During the Chinese New Year, you can always hear joyful and catchy songs everywhere in China. Here’s a playlist of some classic and festive Chinese New Year songs we recommend as your background music while celebrating the New Year at home.

Stroll through the Spring Colors

In southern China, flower markets, usually open three days ahead of the Chinese New Year, kick off the holiday season and bring the festive spirit with their colorful displays of flowers, food stalls, zodiac animal-related crafts and souvenirs. Families or friends visit the flower markets together, purchase auspicious flowers and plants for good wishes for the upcoming New Year. 

Though we can’t find such markets in Atlanta, with warmer weather and spring-blooming flowers, we can enjoy beautiful flowers all around the city. Orchid Daze at Atlanta Botanical Garden, where you can find thousands of splendid orchids with the meaning of blessing and elegance in China, is a perfect exhibition to start your New Year.

Immerse yourself in blossoms at Fuqua Orchid Center at Atlanta Botanical Garden. (📷: Atlanta Botanical Garden)

Don’t forget to check this list to find out other locations to see spring colors in Atlanta at the beginning of the Chinese New Year.

Enjoy Fireworks Safely

Nothing beats the excitement and enjoyment of watching colorful fireworks lighting up the sky with your loved ones. With family and friends around on New Year’s Eve, it’s a great time to enjoy beautiful fireworks together. Order some fireworks and firecrackers online or purchase at stores, launch them safely from your backyard and make a good wish for the New Year.

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