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Here’s how to celebrate the 2024 Lunar New Year in Louisville

Performers during the lion dance at the Asia Institute Crane House
Asia Institute Crane House
Lunar New Year traditions include the lion dance, which was performed at the Asia Institute Crane House last year.

Many places in Louisville are planning Lunar New Year festivities to bring in the Year of the Dragon.

Saturday marks the beginning of the Lunar New Year for many in the Asian community worldwide. It will usher in the Year of the Dragon in the Chinese zodiac.

The start of the lunisolar calendar year prompts a plethora of traditions, celebrations, and family reunions across the Asian diaspora.

Some places in Louisville are also hosting festivities to honor these traditions.

Here’s how you can celebrate the Year of the Dragon.

District 6 food and entertainment 

District 6, at 3930 Shelbyville Rd., is holding its Lunar New Year celebration from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday.

The Vietnamese restaurant will feature a four-course menu, a dragon dance performance, music and a prize giveaway. Reservations are required by email.

WXOX 97.1 FM 

At 8 p.m. Saturday, the nonprofit radio station WXOX 97.1 FM is throwing a Lunar New Year party at their studio on 515 W. Breckenridge St.

The open-house-style party is free to the public, featuring music from local DJs, a potluck and a performance by the River Lotus Lion Dance Team.

This is the station’s first Lunar New Year celebration. Co-founder Sharon Scott said the party is meant to spotlight its diverse community of listeners and staff.

“All this, I just think, is really exciting and fun for us,” Scott said. “And it really does reflect the character of our station, which is bringing people together and celebrating new and different things that we haven't had access to before.”

Andrew Kim, a DJ at the station, helped organize the party. He said he has celebrated the Lunar New Year with his Korean family for years.

“We live in a melting pot of a country,” he said. “There's so many cool things that we should embrace and like to celebrate within our country. We're lucky to have that and that's kind of how I was involved with helping out with Asian American awareness.”

Buddha Blessed Temple

The Buddha Blessed Temple, at 7748 Third Street Rd., will host its annual Lunar New Year celebration at 10 a.m. Sunday.

Rev. Thich Hang Dat is the president of the temple, a meeting place that honors Asian spiritual and cultural traditions. He said the celebration is an opportunity for Louisvillians to experience New Year’s from a new perspective.

“Of course, every country, every ethnic group celebrates their New Year's differently. But in Louisville, we have a diverse group of people,” Dat said. “So I think we'd be a life-changing experience for people to have a firsthand observation about this celebration.”

The celebration will start with a prayer blessing to usher in the year ahead, followed by traditions like a lion dance, dragon dance and flower dance performed by children from the temple.

Food will also be served for free.

Asia Institute Crane House

The Asia Institute Crane House is honoring the Year of the Dragon with a Lunar New Year gala Feb. 17 at the Mellwood Arts Center. Tickets are available online.

The gala will include a six-course dinner made by local chefs and silent and live auctions. The River Lotus Lion Dance Team and Cardinal Bhangra will also perform.

Joel Buno, AICH’s executive director, said the gala is meant to showcase different cultures in the Asian diaspora, like those of the Philippines, Vietnam and India.

“We pull from as many regions as we can. And the thing that I'm very proud of is that all of our performers, and all of our chefs, all of our participants are local,” Buno said. “You don't have to travel really far to experience the true flavor of Asia.”

Giselle is LPM's breaking news reporter. Email Giselle at grhoden@lpm.org.