In case you've already ditched any new year's resolutions, the Chinese New Year offers yet another chance to make good.
So here's to welcoming the Year of the Snake, characterized by mystery, contemplation, and snark. (Yes, snark.)
Ring It In: Midnight Temple Ceremony in Chinatown
Bidding goodbye to the Year of the Dragon and a hearty hello to the Year of the Snake, the annual Midnight Temple Ceremony comes with firecrackers, incense, and a huge crowd. Festivities begin the night before the Chinese New Year, lasting up to 15 days afterward.
Sat Feb 9 10p-1a. Chuan Thien Hau (Cam Au) Temple, 750-756 N. Yale St., Chinatown
Street Meat: Dim Sum at Street
Celebuchef Susan Feniger serves up a one-day-only dim sum brunch for Chinese New Year with both authentic and Chinese-inspired fare, from griddled Cantonese-style radish cakes to Hong Kong-style steamed buns with jackfruit. No word as to whether there's any rattlesnake on the (special) menu, but since it's billed as a vegetarian brunch, we doubt it.
$5-12. Sun Feb 10, 11a-3p. 742 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood (323-203-0500)
Foodie Fest: Chinese New Year Festival at the Hammer
Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold talks LA's Chinese food scene while you learn to make paper lanterns and Chinese calligraphy. Live music comes courtesy of the Music of China Ensemble of UCLA, and Ammo at the Hammer offers special China-inspired food and tea, too.
Sun Feb 10 2-6:30p. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood (310-443-7000)
Better Than Tsingtao: The Golden Dragon Parade and New Year Festival in Chinatown
The two-day New Year Festival kicks off with the 114th annual Golden Dragon Parade, complete with dancers, bands, fancy cars, and Grand Marshal Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. The best part: a craft beer garden with local brews, curated by Eagle Rock Brewery.
Sat-Sun Feb 16-17 10a-9p. Parade Sat Feb 16 1p. 715 N. Hill St., Chinatown
Flying Lotus Style: Chinese New Year Festival at the Huntington Library
With its storybook stone bridges and serene lake, the Huntington's Garden of Flowing Fragrance or "Liu Fang Yuan" is the appropriate setting for kung-fu carnage. And that's what you'll find here, with a nonstop program full of martial-arts demos and mask-changing performances (or "bian lian").
Sat-Sun Feb 16-17 10:30a-4:30p. $8-23. 1151 Oxford Rd., San Marino (626-405-2100)