Chinese American events

Celebrate Chinese American Portland with two major festivals in the winter and spring.

Rose Festival Dragon Boat RaceThe annual Rose Festival features Dragon Boat Races on the Willamette River.

This article was produced in collaboration with The Portland Chinese Times, a locally published, weekly Chinese-language newspaper that is an important resource for the community.


Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is the most important festival of the year in Chinese Culture, and there are plenty of activities in Portland organized by local organizations to celebrate. Among them is the largest festival, the Chinese New Year Cultural Fair, organized by the Portland Chinese Times and Portland Art & Cultural Center. Each year, the fair is held at the Oregon Convention Center on the weekend closest to the first day of Chinese New Year.

This event features an entire day of cultural performances, including the lion dance and the highly skilled wushu demonstration. Attendees can enjoy the exciting shows, sample exotic delicacies from local Chinese restaurants, visit booths from local and national businesses and shop for gifts and crafts. At the 2016 festival, free lunch provided by local Chinese restaurants will be included with the purchase of a ticket, along with local and international entertainment from Hong Kong.

Lan Su Chinese Garden hosts two weeks of Chinese New Year celebrations, including lion dances and cultural performances and demonstrations. Other traditional celebrations are held throughout the year at Lan Su; check their calendar for details.

Almost every Chinese organization in Portland has its own New Year celebration. For schools, it’s a good time to demonstrate what they learn during the year. The tongs and other organizations hold their own celebratory dinner parties throughout this season.

Portland Rose Festival

The Rose Festival, Portland’s signature event, is held annually in May and June. In 2011, Chinese organizations in the greater Portland area formed a group to participate in the Rose Festival Parade. About 70 members from various local organizations work together to present the local Chinese community and its culture to the public.

The dragon boat race is a tradition of the Chinese Duan-Wu festival. Every year since 1988, nearly 100 local, national and international teams compete in the Dragon Boat Race at the Rose Festival using majestic boats provided through the Portland-Kaohsiung Sister City Association.

Find more Portland events in the events calendar.

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