By Andrew Kramer

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It’s going to be one big party in Philadelphia’s Chinatown neighborhood the second half of the month.

The reason: to celebrate the Chinese New Year, which is February 19th.

“The Chinese have our own lunar calendar and the Chinese New Year is actually the January 1st in our lunar calendar,” explains Weiling Wang with the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation. “So the way we celebrate the Chinese New Year is similar to how Americans celebrate their Christmas.”

2014 celebration in Chinatown (Credit: PCDC)

2014 celebration in Chinatown (Credit: PCDC)

There will be many chances to celebrate in Chinatown, beginning the night before the Chinese New Year with the Midnight Lion Dance Performance beginning at 11:30 p.m.

“That celebration is just to kick off the Year of the Sheep,” says Wang.

There’s also the Philadelphia Suns Lion Dance Parade on February 22nd from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“The parade will bring luck to everyone in the community,” Wang says.

And new this year is the Chinatown New Year Banquet, held on February 24th at Sang Kee Peking Duck House.

“During that banquet, people are able to enjoy the delicious Chinese food and experience the traditional Chinese New Year culture and arts,” explains Wang.

2014 celebration in Chinatown (Credit: PCDC)

2014 celebration in Chinatown (Credit: PCDC)

Wang says all are encouraged to participate in the events:

“The events welcome everyone to come no matter your cultural background, ethnicity or social status because it’s a celebration that we wish to bring luck and wishes to everybody.”

Wang says what makes these celebrations extra special is authenticity:

“This event happens within the Philadelphia Chinatown, so you are able to experience the real and traditional feeling of the Chinese New Year.”

Wang adds between the atmosphere and tasty food, you don’t want to miss out on the fun.

While these events take place in Chinatown, the New Year is celebrated all throughout the Delaware Valley. For more information on all Chinese New Year events visit chinatown-pcdc.org.

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