With last year being so difficult, it only makes sense to celebrate both the new calendar year and the new lunar year, right?
Feb. 12 kicks off the year of the ox and waves goodbye to the year of the rat—likely one that spent a good deal of time in the sewer. To help us bring in the new lunar year, many Columbus businesses and restaurants are offering up deals and events, with everything from free dumplings to astrology lessons. We’ve curated some of our favorites into a list below, so you can make sure to get the most from the year of the ox.
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This North Market (both downtown and Bridge Park) mainstay is known for capturing the flavors of northern Vietnam with everything from hearty, complex pho to the indulgent bahn mi sandwich. To celebrate the Lunar New Year, the North Market restaurant will be handing out iconic red envelopes (so often seen around the holiday) to customers purchasing certain amounts of food. Those who spend between $25 and $40 will receive a small envelope, and spending over $40 will earn you a large one. These hold everything from free appetizers and entrees, to local gift vouchers from other Columbus vendors, to even cold hard cash.
IFI is a national non-profit group (affiliated with Ohio State here in Columbus) that aims to help international students acclimate to the United States, as well as foster connections between these students and the U.S. community. For the Lunar New Year, the Columbus IFI branch (located at 1520 Old Henderson Rd.) will be holding a special event from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Feb. 12 where guests can enjoy dumplings free of charge, or partake in festivities like a specially-prepared drama and a presentation on the year of the ox.
Cameron Mitchell Restaurants are also getting in on the Lunar New Year celebration. The Polaris-based Molly Woo’s will be putting out a unique and hands-on cocktail kit between Feb. 12 and March 31. For $20, patrons can order a Luck of the Grape cocktail kit, containing muddled red grapes, Ciroc vodka, Cointreau, white cranberry juice, and Ruffino Prosecco. This unique box-set creates two gourmet drinks, perfect for an evening in. What’s more, each kit also features two Krema Nut Company snack packs, two fortune scratch-offs, and even a pair of Feng Shui good luck coins.
Ohio State University continues its tradition of Lunar New Year celebrations with a virtual, COVID-friendly event this year. Through informative presentations, engaging discussions, and interactive activities, you’ll be able to learn about the Year of the Ox, in addition to the history and culture of Chinese New Year. The event, which is put on by the university’s Global Ambassador program, will take place from 6 p.m. to 7p.m. on Feb. 9, over Zoom. Join using meeting ID: 974 2727 7966, and password: engage.
For those willing to make the trek to Newark, a free Year of the Ox astrology course is in the cards for you. From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Feb. 11 at Brasseur’s Botanicals, local acupuncturist Christina Walker (of Red Pony Medicine) will be offering a free class on what the Year of the Ox represents in Taoist astrology, and how it will affect other signs within the zodiac. Additionally, participants will learn their fair share of Chinese customs used to welcome in the new year, and will even receive their own lucky Chinese knot to carry around for good fortune. The class will be socially distanced, and pre-registration through Brasseur’s is required.