Chinese restaurants and bakeries in Chicago offering food and specials to celebrate the Lunar New Year

Friday is the first day of the Lunar New Year in 2021, beginning the Year of the Ox, an animal sign believed to be symbolic of hard work and reliability.

The dawning of the new lunar calendar also means this weekend kicks off two weeks of celebration. And, since food is a necessity for proper celebrations, we’ve made a list of places offering takeout — and, in some cases, dine-in — options to start the Lunar New Year with a special meal.

88 Marketplace

The new shop has claimed the title as “Chicago’s largest Chinese supermarket,” which may arguably be true, though some warehouse stores have opened to the general public during the pandemic. 88 Marketplace will have sales on select items for the Lunar New Year. For those driving, there’s currently plentiful, yet chaotic, parking on the street and in lots across the road. 2105 S. Jefferson St., 312-846-6962,

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Celebrate the Year of the Ox with these 8 lucky Chinese New Year dishes

Gong xi fa cai. In Mandarin Chinese, it means wishing you prosperity, or Happy New Year.

The Year of the Ox arrives on Friday, Feb. 12. For East Asians who celebrate the Lunar New Year, including those with roots in China, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand, it’s the biggest holiday of the year, marked by 15 days of celebrations.

Cities with large Asian populations will put on grand celebrations with businesses shutting down for a week or even a full 15-day celebratory period.

According to Asian folklore, people born in the Year of the Ox are strong, reliable, fair and conscientious, inspiring confidence in others. They are also said to be calm, patient, methodical and trustworthy.

This is an unusual Lunar New Year, coming amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Large festivities are off and families will gather in small circles, whether at home or socially distanced in a restaurant.

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11 Traditional Chinese New Year Foods to Make to Ring in the Year of the Ox

Most Americans consider the new year to have started on January 1. But for many Asians and Asian-Americans, that’s not the case. Lunar New Year, most commonly associated in the U.S. with Chinese New Year, begins on February 12, 2021 (which is the Year of the Ox in Chinese zodiac, BTW). Also called Spring Festival in most of mainland China, Lunar New Year starts on the night of the first new moon of the lunisolar calendar, which is a bit shorter than the 365-day solar year. The 16-day festival season is celebrated with lots of Chinese New Year food that’s prepared, served and eaten in symbolic ways.

It all begins with the reunion dinner, which is basically a big family feast where everyone gathers to spend time together and share their wishes for health, happiness and prosperity in the year ahead. It’s arguably the most popular festivity, with people

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13 Tastes: Where to eat for Chinese New Year in Las Vegas

Chinese New Year 2021 (also known as Lunar New Year) will be observed Feb. 12. Celebrations will continue through Feb. 26 around the world.

The following is a list of Las Vegas restaurants that are celebrating with special offerings:

1. Beijing Noodle No. 9 at Caesars Palace hotel-casino will offer a offer a special Year of the Ox Chinese New Year menu as an addition to its to-go menu. Highlights from the specialty to-go menu include:

  • Double Boiled Pork Soup with Dry Oyster and Fatt Choy for $26.99
  • Poached Chicken with Ginger Sauce (Half Chicken) for $23.99
  • Wok Fried Sweet and Spicy Fish Fillet for $32.99
  • Steamed Santa Barbara Prawn with Chinese Wine (1 lb) for $129.99
  • Abalone Stir Fried with Bean Sprout, Carrot, Chive and Celery for $168.99
  • Steamed Coral Cod with Scallion (market price)
  • Pan Fried Sweet Rice Cake for $18.99
  • Sweet Red Bean Soup with Glutinous Rice
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