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Lunar New Year celebrations in Asheville, NC

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Thai Pearl’s sukiyaki special. | Photo via Thai Pearl

If you were born in 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, or 20102022 is your year. Today marks the start of the Lunar New Year, celebrated by Asian countries + around the world (technically, we’re 24 hours behind the Eastern Hemisphere, so celebrations began yesterday).

Did you know? Each year on the lunar calendar is represented by one of twelve animals — on a twelve year cycle — and 2022 is the Year of the Tiger. The Tiger is said to represent strength, power, and bravery — and Tiger years are said to be a time of big changes through risk-taking and adventure. 🐅

Celebrations of the Lunar New Year typically include lantern festivals, fireworks, gifts of money in red envelopes, and the eating of traditional foods associated with prosperity. Here’s how you can join the festivities right here in Asheville.

Behold, the ultimate Lunar New Year beer: White Tiger Cold IPA. | Photo via Highland Brewing

  • Highland Brewing hosts a Chinese New Year Celebration on Feb. 5, 12-9 p.m. at its original taproom (12 Old Charlotte Hwy.). There will be live music from Laura Blakely & the Wildflowers, special dishes from Bun Intended, and a bonfire where you can drop in written intentions for the new year. Bonus: The event will also feature a special release of the Water Tiger Cold IPA, a collaborative brew created with Seattle’s Lucky Envelope Brewing. (Hello, SEAtoday).
  • Stop by West Asheville’s Thai Pearl (747 Haywood Rd.) to enjoy a special sukiyaki meal for $12 a bowl.
  • Dumplings make for another traditional New Year dish. Get your fill at establishments like Shanghai Dumpling House, Red Ginger, Gan Shan West, or from legendary local dumpling maker J. Chong Eats.

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