Skip to main content

Public Library

2024 Lunar New Year

Year of the Dragon

The year 2024 celebrates the dragon, the fifth animal in the Chinese zodiac. A red dragon with gold scales stands front and center.
Lunar New Year is a festival that recognizes the beginning of the year based on a lunar and solar calendar. An important Chinese cultural holiday, it is celebrated worldwide across East Asia and Southeast Asia as well as Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. In the Chinese and Vietnamese astrology, there are a total of 12 zodiac animals, each one associated with an element such as metal, wood, water, fire, earth. As we move through the zodiac cycle, each animal and its affiliated element reappears after 12 years. This year, the San Diego Public Library is proud to celebrate the Year of the Wood Dragon.

Featured Programs

Korean American Heritage Month program - performer with drum

Korean American Heritage Celebration
Saturday, February 3, 2024 | 12 p.m. - 3 p.m. | Central Library, Courtyard and Neil Morgan Auditorium

Together with the Korean Cultural Center, Los Angeles, San Diego Central Library is proud to present our Korean American Heritage Celebration for the third year running! Everyone is welcome to celebrate at this family-friendly event. The San Diego Korean Pungmul Institute will kick off the event with an energizing drum performance—kids loves drumming along and joining in on the fun. There will be themed crafts, photo-ops, crafts and games happening, too.

Event Schedule

  • 12 p.m.: Pungmul Performance | Neil Morgan Auditorium, 1st floor
  • 1 p.m.: Crafts, games, and Hanbok photos | Garden Courtyard, 1st floor

Lunar New Year Celebration
Saturday, February 3, 2024 | 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. | Rancho Bernardo Library

Participants can make a simple zodiac animal mask, play a traditional Korean game, and take pictures with photo props!

SD Lunar New Year Tết Festival at City Heights

San Diego Lunar New Year Tết Festival is a 3-day inclusive and free celebration features dazzling lanterns, folk and traditional performances, arts and cultural exhibitions, lion dances and firecrackers, and plenty of family fun activities for the kids.


Lion Dances



Asian Story Theater

In recognition of the group “Asian Story Theater,” Gold comedy and tragedy theater masks are centered over a red background with gold decorative corners.

Two Dragons
Asian Story Theatre presents Two Dragons: a play featuring two stories: Naga and the Princess and the Dragon Pearl. Naga and the Princess uses traditional shadow puppets from Indonesia to tell the popular story of a headstrong young princess determined to have her way. Featuring clowns, Balinese music, and the magical naga creatures from that storytelling tradition, legendary snake-like dragons with the power to transform into human form. This story is paired with The Dragon Pearl, the lovely and lyrical Chinese origin story of a river dragon, and the industrious young girl who is remembered for her sacrifice that makes it possible. Join us for a magical showing celebrating dragon folktales.




Paper craft of dragon

SDCMH presents Traditions of the Chinese New Year + Chinese Zodiac Art
Tuesday, January 30, 2024 | 5 p.m. - 6 p.m. | San Ysidro Library

Registration required.

San Diego Chinese Historical Museum's Fan Making Workshop
Wednesday, January 31, 2024 | 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. | Balboa Library

Create-it Thursday: Lunar New Year Craft Chinese Lanterns
Thursday, February 1, 2024 | 4 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. | Skyline Hills Library

Registration encouraged.

Lunar New Year 2024 Dragon Puppet Craft
Saturday, February 3, 2024 | 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. | University Heights Library

Registration required.

Lunar New Year Lantern Craft (Ages 5-11)
Tuesday, February 6, 2024 | 5 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. | Valencia Park/Malcolm X Library

Art Smarts Dragon Art - Celebrating Lunar New Year! (Ages 5-17)
Tuesday, February 6, 2024 | 6 p.m. - 7 p.m. | San Ysidro Library

Registration required.

Afternoon Crafting: Dragon Puppet
Wednesday, February 7, 2024 | 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. | Pacific Beach Library

Lunar New Year Kids Craft: Dragon Puppet (Ages 4-17)
Thursday, February 8, 2024 | 4 p.m. - 5 p.m. | Mission Hills Library

Registration required.

Chinese New Year Zodiac Craft (Up to Grade 6)
Sunday, February 10, 2024 | 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. | Allied Gardens/Benjamin Library

SDCHM presents Family Night Chinese Calligraphy!
Tuesday, February 13, 2024 | 5 p.m. - 6  p.m. | San Ysidro Library

Limit 15 participants.

The Art of Chinese Calligraphy (Ages 12+)
Thursday, February 15, 2024| 4 p.m. - 5 p.m. | Carmel Valley Branch Library

Limit 15 participants.

Chinese Zodiac Craft
Wednesday, February 21, 2024 | 4 p.m. - 5 p.m. | Mira Mesa Library



Archive photos from exhibit

Chinese Pioneers: Power and Politics in Exclusion Era Photographs
Friday, February 4, 2024 – Saturday, March 30, 2024 | Hours of Operation | Linda Vista Library

Chinese Pioneers: Power and Politics in Exclusion Era Photographs presents a visual history of the social, political, and judicial disenfranchisement of Chinese Californians — as well as moments of Chinese agency and resilience — in the decades before and after the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act.

OnView: Journeys by John Chang
Monday, January 8, 2024 - Monday, March 4, 2024 | Hours of Operation | Central Library, 2nd Floor Display

John Chang dreams in many worlds. In his new works, people come and go; yet no one is seen. The migrators leave their shadows in the air and their marks on the sidewalks. Their words and echoes float through storms of sharp, black fragments flying in all directions. Chang's East/West identity enriches his memory and brings flashbacks from lives lived in many places. By invoking calligraphic forms, Chang comments on the distortion of language, yet also reclaiming the energy of the written word. Chang is especially interested in making and unmaking meaning with the combination of word and image — particularly in this age of digital communication.



Storytime with local author Helen H. Wu


Book Displays


  • San Diego Public Library celebrates Lunar New Year by creating colorful book displays.
  • San Diego Public Library celebrates Lunar New Year by creating colorful book displays.



Book Lists