Where to Ring In the Year of the Snake This Weekend

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New Year's parade in Chinatown Photo: uwishunu

New Years resolutions already blown? Dont sweat it. With the Lunar New Year (a.k.a Chinese New Year) celebrations kicking off this weekend, heres your chance to reboot those commitments, promises of reformed habits and lifestyle changes. Most of the action is happening in Chinatown, where many restaurants will be celebrating with dumplings, noodles, rice cakes and other traditional edible symbols of luck and good fortune. Provided that Nemo doesnt burry us in snow, the Chinatown Flower Market at 10th and Vine streets will kick things off with candy and sweets, children's crafts, flowers and lanterns on Saturday at 10 a.m.

Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation has a thorough list of dining recommendations for Year of the Snake revelry that includes ramen at Terakawa Ramen, yakitori at Yakitori Boy, and dim sum at Ocean City.

Grubs go-to for dumplings anytime of year is Dim Sum Garden, with Davids Mai Lai Wah as a close second.

Joseph Poon Chef Kitchen is offering a special late night Chinese New Year menu on Saturday with a bunch of cool dishes, like Peking duck cheeseburger scallion pancake pizza with yellow hot pepper, and Japanese bar-b-q eel with cheese fries. The whole feast costs $75, and includes complimentary champagne, and special surprise gift. Best of all the meal wraps in time to catch Chinatowns midnight lion dance parade. Reservations are required. Poon will also offer two seatings on Sunday for his New Years Day dinner at 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. Reservations are a must as well. The dinner costs $39.50 per person, and is BYOB.

On Sunday and Monday, Michael Schulson will celebrate the Year of the Snake at Sampan with a six-course, prix fixe dinner that includes a Pu Pu platter loaded with pork poststicker, crab rangoon, duck egg rolls and pork spare ribs. The menu also features Dan Dan noodles with Chinese sausage, scallion and chili oil; Cantonese steamed salmon with ginger and garlic; Peking duck with hoisin and cucumber; and coconut-tapioca pudding with passion fruit puree. The cost is $55 per person with a minimum of two people. Dancers from Pennsylvania Chinese Dance Club will perform throughout the restaurant on both nights.

On Sunday, Seorabol Korean Restaurant in Olney is offering complimentary Dduk Gook (Korean Rice Cake Soup) for all guests who dine-in at the restaurant for Lunar New Year.