Although Paris is as French as can be, it's also a pretty global, cosmopolitan city. Because of the many international communities that have settled down here, the French capital has also embraced many foreign holidays. Not the least of which is the Chinese New Year. Each year, around late January to early February, Paris joins the rest of the world in celebrating the Lunar New Year. It puts the highlight on its Asian communities, allowing them to hold parades, serve their traditional delicacies, and more. If you want to join in on the new year fun yourself, you'll want to visit these specific places that celebrate the holiday best!
Largely known as the 'Chinatown' of Paris, the Quartier Asiatique in the 13th arrondissement
is undoubtedly the best place to celebrate the Chinese New Year. It's become the central district of the city's Asian community, and though other ethnicities like Vietnamese, Cambodian, Indonesian, Thai, and more have settled down here, the Chinese influences still reign supreme. And come Chinese New Year, Quartier Asiatique hosts a massive parade with lion dances, ribbon dances, drummer troops, and more. The parade is the largest of its kind ever year, inviting a whopping 2,000 participants from the quarter and beyond!
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ besopha
Paris Beijing Gallery
What better place to celebrate the Chinese New Year than at a place where you can uphold Chinese and other Asian artists? The Paris Beijing Gallery on Rue de Turbigo offers a look into eastern contemporary art, infused with a tinge of western influence to bridge the gap between the two hemispheres. Having started out as a photography gallery when it was first built in 2009, it grew to become a platform for emerging Asian artists from around the world to show off their latest and best works in the art capital, Paris.
Source: Paris Beijing Gallery Facebook Page
Maison des Trois Thés
Located on Rue Saint-Médard, Maison des Trois Thés is the premier Chinese tea house in Paris. But make no mistake, this place is far from the tea room you'd normally see in Paris or even in London
and beyond. Founded by Yu Hui Tseng, the most recognized female tea master and the only one of her kind active in China today, this hotspot is practically a shrine to Chinese tea. Though its English name is 'The House of the Three Teas,' the place actually offers a mind-blowing selection of 1,000 different kinds of tea. You can taste the authentic flavors of China and the East here!
Source: Maison des Trois Thés Facebook Page
Though Belleville is a trendy neighborhood in Paris
that's known for its street food market and hip hang-outs, the place also lights up unlike any other every Chinese New year. Since it's also one of the largest districts in the city, spanning a total of four arrondissements in Paris
, you can expect the celebrations here to be large, colorful, and crowded. Just like Quartier Asiatique, Belleville also holds a parade on the holiday, complete with lion dances, dragon dances, martial arts, acrobats, and more. One look and you'll instantly forget that you were in Paris in the first place.
Source: Wikimedia Commons/Akuppa John Wigham
Yes, even the fashionable Le Marais district
of Paris also joins in on the Lunar New Year fun every year. After all, this place does house the smallest yet oldest Chinese community in the city. Before there were Quartier Asiatique and Belleville, there was Le Marais. Amidst its luxury homes
and popular hotspots, the neighborhood also hosts one of the biggest Chinese New Year parades in the French capital. Apart from the usual dragon floats and lion dances, the district also offers free makeup to kids who want to look the part when celebrating this holiday.
Source: Flickr.com/ Olivier Ortelpa
Although Quartier Asiatique is the premier hub for the Asian communities in Paris, Rue Sainte-Anne is rising up to be another similar district in the French capital. Located between the 1st
and 2nd arrondissements
of Paris, it's becoming well-known as the Japanese/Korean quarter of the city. From sushi restaurants to Korean barbecue places, it's a foodie's paradise here. But while Japanese and Korean food and culture are different from Chinese, the Lunar New Year remains an important occasion here nonetheless. During the holiday, expect the many hotspots here to offer promos, discounts, and more. It's their own way to celebrate and welcome good fortune for the coming year.
Source: Flickr.com/ Guilhem Vellut
Huatian Chinagora Hotel
Finally, there's the beautiful Huatian Chinagora Hotel. Technically, this place isn't in Paris, but it is near! Located in Alfortville, only 7.6 km away from the French capital, it's become a popular escape for many locals and tourists alike. The very authentic Chinese decor and vibe of the place make it stand out from all the other establishments, both in the city and beyond. Looking more like ancient temples, the place was designed by Cantonese architect Liang Kunhao. And it has an oriental vibrancy that makes just looking at it already a worthwhile experience.
Source: Huatian Chinagora Hotel
Paris takes Chinese New Year pretty seriously. Many parts of the city hold lively celebrations just for this holiday. And if you want to join in on the festivities, you'll have to go to some of these areas within the bustling French capital!