liondance 2The official Chinese New Year is February 10, but the celebrations will be this weekend and next. Here are some of the free Lunar New Year festivals in Houston this year:

Chinese New Year in the Heights — Wind Water Gallery sponsors its own Chinese New Year celebration at its Heights antique shop and gallery. This is the final celebration since the store is closing soon. The event begins Friday, February 8, 6 pm – 10 pm, with Chinese music and food. The fun continues February 9 from 10 am – 10 pm with live traditional Chinese music all day and a lion dance at 3 pm. Wind Water Gallery is located at 548 W. 19th Street.

lunar new year houston2013 Lunar New Year Festival — Don’t miss the annual Lunar New Year Festival Saturday, February 9, at the Chinese Community Center. The free fun features dragon and lion dances, food, cultural exhibitions, arts and crafts, outdoor Karaoke stage, talent show, photography, and more. Find the entertainment schedule online here. The festivities last from 10 am – 4 pm at 9800 Town Park.

Lunar New Year Houston — The fun continues the following weekend, February 16-17, at the Lunar New Year Houston. It’s a jam-packed weekend featuring food, fun, dance, music, martial arts, and firecrackers. Lunar New Year will be located at Viet Hoa Center 8388 W. Sam Houston Parkway at Beltway Plaza. Hours are noon to 7 pm both days.

Texas Lunar Festival — The Alief community sponsors its own Texas Lunar Festival February 16, to celebrate all cultures in Houston through vendors and entertainment. This annual festival features food, entertainment, performances, demonstrations, children’s games, and more. Mayor Annise Parker will present an introduction at 11 am. Hours are 10 am – 8 pm Saturday. Amity Park is located at 12509 Alief Clodine, 77082.

photo credit: Dean Quach