Al Orendorff, Director, Corporate Communications


The Year of the Pig marks Chicago’s 6th Citywide Chinese New Year Celebration
 (February 2 – 17, 2019) 

(CHICAGO – January 17, 2019) – Celebrating its 6th year, Chicago’s citywide Chinese New Year Celebration returns February 2 – 17 with three weekends of cultural performances, colorful parades and special events to usher in the Year of the Pig. 

“The Chinese New Year of the Pig is around the corner and a rich program featuring different aspects of China’s cultural heritage will be presented to our friends and visitors in Chicago during the 6th citywide Chinese New Year Celebration,” said Acting Consul General of the People's Republic of China in Chicago, LIU Jun.  “I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt thanks to Choose Chicago, City of Chicago and city cultural institutions for their efforts and contributions to make these celebrations possible in this city of culture. I wish everyone an enjoyable and colorful Chinese festival.”

The signature event of the Celebration will feature the China National Peking Opera Company and the Hubei Chime Bells National Chinese Orchestra showcasing centuries-old musical traditions and Peking Opera in a unique program.  Presented by Symphony Center Presents and Choose Chicago, the Chinese New Year Celebration at Symphony Center on Sunday, February 10 at 3PM is sure to impress the audience with traditional Chinese art forms.

The first half of the program features the Hubei Chime Bells National Chinese Orchestra in a program of works that honor centuries-old musical traditions, performed on exact replicas of the ancient Imperial Bells of China. The internationally renowned China National Peking Opera Company, with special appearances by Peking opera superstars Yu Kuizhi and Li Shengsu, presents a dazzling combination of vocal artistry, costumes and acrobatics in three classic scenes during the second half of the program.

“Chinese New Year festivities are among the highlights of Chicago’s arts and culture calendar every year,” said Choose Chicago President and CEO, David Whitaker. “Chicago is a wonderful destination to celebrate the holiday, due to the artistic excellence presented each year by our cultural institutions.  We are proud to play a role in this annual festival.”

The China National Peking Opera Company will give a special sneak peak of their Symphony Center  performance during the Chinese New Year Kickoff Celebration presented by the Chinese Fine Arts Society in Preston Bradley Hall at the Chicago Cultural Center on Tuesday, February 5 from 12 – 1PM with the comedic and acrobatic “At the Crossroads”, a famous opera based on a story from Water Margin, one of the great novels of Chinese literature.  Celebrate the first day of the Year of the Pig with additional performances featuring Lion dancers, Silk Road pipa master Yang Wei, martial arts, and the award-winning Flying Fairies dance troupe.

February 2 – 6
The opening week of Chicago’s Chinese New Year Celebration features one of Chicago’s renowned cultural institutions, a lantern procession and a Chinese New Year Game with the Chicago Bulls!

  • February 2: The Art Institute of Chicago  will celebrate the Year of the Pig and its promise of prosperity at this multi-generational event featuring art making, storytelling, music, games, and gallery tours in English and Mandarin from 1 – 4:30PM.
  • February 2: Immediately following the Art Institute of Chicago Celebration, join the Chinese Fine Arts Society’s Lantern Procession through Millennium Park to Maggie Daley Park, followed by more New Year's activities, including a lion dance performance, art making, and ice skating from 5:00 – 7:30PM.
  • February 6: The Chicago Bulls will present Chinese New Year themed pre-game and on-court entertainment in partnership with the Chicago Huaxing Arts Group throughout the game between the Bulls and New Orleans Pelicans at the United Center.

February 9 – 10 
The second weekend of Chicago’s Chinese New Year Celebration is full of colorful parades, a concert at Apple Michigan Avenue and the signature event featuring the China National Peking Opera Company and the Hubei Chime Bells National Chinese Orchestra at the Symphony Center.

  • February 9: The Chinese Fine Arts Society presents Silk Road pipa sensation Yang Wei for a special Today at Apple performance in celebration of Chinese New Year. Yang Wei will perform on the pipa and then audience members will get hands-on learning to play the Chinese instrument in GarageBand using iPads. He will then integrate music created by the audience into an improvisational work. During the program, calligrapher Yijun Hu will write Chinese characters in response to the music performed. Opening the music lab, the Sound of Wishes ensemble will perform Chinese music on a trio of guzheng, a 21 stringed Chinese zither.
  • February 9 – 10: Two of Chicago’s neighborhoods welcome marching bands, colorful floats, traditional lion dancing and much more during the Lunar New Parades.  The Chinese Lunar New Year Parade will take place on Sunday, February 10 from 1 – 3PM in the historic Chinatown neighborhood.  Uptown will host their Argyle Lunar New Year Parade on Saturday, February 9 from 1 – 2:30PM.

February 16 – 17 
Wrapping up the Year of the Pig is a celebration at Navy Pier and a documentary series presented at the Chicago Cultural Center by Asian Pop-Up Cinema.

  • February 16: In partnership with the Chinese Fine Arts Society, Navy Pier will host a Chinese New Year Celebration from 1 – 5PM.  The Aon Grand Ballroom will be transformed into a festive Chinese marketplace with two stages featuring performances by the Chicago Chinese Cultural Center Lion Dancers, pipa master Yang Wei, Mongolian throat singer Tamir Hargana, the award-winning Flying Fairies dance troupe, Beidou Kung Fu, Zhong Hua Kung Fu, Eight Tones Chinese Instrument Ensemble, Cheng Da Drum Team, and many other luminaries from the Chicago Chinese community.
  • February 17: The Arts & Culture Doc Fest is returning for a fourth year at the Chicago Cultural Center from 2:00 – 5:00PM. The Doc Fest is proud to premiere select episodes from the recently produced "This is China" documentary series.  “This is China” consists of six episodes that reflect the development and progress of contemporary China, but also display the essence of traditional Chinese culture for cultural exchange and mutual learning.

For a complete list of Chicago’s Chinese New Year events along with a variety of special retail and dining offerings at Fashion Outlets of Chicago, The Shops at North Bridge, 360 Chicago, Peninsula Hotel, and more, visit

About Choose Chicago
Choose Chicago is the official sales and marketing organization responsible for promoting Chicago as a global visitor and meetings destination, leveraging the city's unmatched assets to ensure the economic vitality of the city and its member business community.

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