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Best Ways To Celebrate Lunar New Year In Pittsburgh

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The Lunar or "Chinese New Year" begins on Jan. 31, 2014 and this year is the year of the horse. Pittsburgh is home to a significant Chinese community and there are many ways to celebrate this holiday that honors family and tradition. Here are the top five ways to celebrate the Lunar New Year in Pittsburgh.

Small Fry: Chinese New Year
Giant Eagle Market District Robinson
100 Settlers Ridge Center Drive
Robinson Township, PA 15205
(412) 788-5392

Date: Jan 26, 2014 at 12 p.m.

The expansive and lively Giant Eagle Market District in Robinson Township hosts numerous events for cooking enthusiasts. To honor the Chinese New Year, the cooking school there is sponsoring one of its "Small Fry" events for children ages 5 to 8. The 1.5-hour-long class will safely show participants how to cook traditional Chinese favorites like pot stickers and lettuce wraps. The $15 ticket includes hands-on demos for the kids and an explanation of cooking techniques in ways children can understand.

OCA Lunar New Year Banquet
Syria Shriners Center
1877 Shriners Way
Cheswick, PA 15024
(724) 274-7000

Date: Feb 8, 2014 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The Organization of Chinese Americans is again hosting its annual Lunar New Year Banquet. This red carpet event features local celebrities, people active in local Chinese culture and an impressive variety of traditional Chinese cultural dances and performances. Attendees can expect to receive a traditional 12-course Chinese banquet meal from the Pittsburgh Chinese Restaurant Association. Visit the website for additional information about tickets and event times as the information becomes available.

Shen Yun 2014
Benedum Center
803 Liberty Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
(412) 456-2600

Dates: Feb. 19-20, 2014

Shen Yun is a performance arts show that celebrates the 5,000 years of Chinese civilization with traditional and modern cultural dance performances. This nationally performed show receives rave reviews and tickets are already beginning to sell out. The dancers and actors are accompanied by a full orchestra, theatrical lighting design and animated backdrops to heighten the visual experience for theatre-goers. In addition to interpretive dance, the show also features dramatic scenes that portray important historical events over the five millennia of Chinese civilization.

Related: Ringing In The Chinese New Year

Sesame Inn
125 W. Station Square Drive #201
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
(412) 281-8282

If your social calendar is too full to attend a special event for the Lunar New Year, consider visiting one of Pittsburgh's most loved Chinese restaurants for an authentic Chinese meal. With locations in Mt. Lebanon, Station Square, North Hills and McMurray, the Sesame Inn has been voted best Chinese restaurant by all of the major local newspapers and magazines. This local chain of restaurants also features something most Chinese restaurants don't: a Sunday brunch menu. Check out the website for a full menu and the special New Year's Menu to celebrate the year of the horse.

Lotus Food Company
1649 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
(412) 281-3050

Celebrate Chinese New Year with a home-cooked meal. Pittsburgh is home to a well-stocked specialty Chinese grocery store located in the Strip District. This large store stocks all of the ingredients you'll need to cook up traditional Chinese cuisine. This store is known for its low prices and incredible selection of noodles, cooking oils and sauces. Don't miss the fresh tofu for sale for 30 cents a cube or the kitchen tools needed for some of the traditional dishes that can be a challenge to make at home. Give yourself plenty of time in this store: most of the foods are imported and most packages and labels are written in Chinese. Don't forget to visit the produce section for great prices on fresh fruits and veggies.

Related: Throwing A Chinese New Year Party In Pittsburgh

Sally Turkovich Wright lives in her beloved city of Pittsburgh with her husband, Jason and German Shepherd, Zeus. She is a policy analyst by training, an eyewear stylist by trade and an amateur healthy-living advocate by choice. She also writes a column for Twoday Magazine. Catch up with her there at Her work can be found at

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