Celebrating the Chinese New Year in San José

February 8, 2013

On Feb. 10, the Chinese New Year will be celebrated throughout San José to introduce the year of the snake, a symbol of longevity and good fortune in Chinese culture.

Thankfully, Costa Ricans need not travel far to celebrate and understand China. China’s official language is standard Mandarin, which is taught in various locations around the province of San José, including Confucio Institute in the University of Costa Rica, the Cultural and Educational Costa Rican-Chinese Center and the Professional Mandarin Language Academy.

For China enthusiasts looking to learn about the country through film, the Cultural and Educational Costa Rican-Chinese Center will be showing Chinese movies with Spanish subtitles for $2 at 4 p.m from Feb. 13-15.

Those interested in trying out China’s martial arts can visit institutes such as Oriental Arts Center, Temple Kung Fu Shaolin Costa Rica, Sheng Long Martial Arts Center or the Kung Fu Choy Lee Fut Costa Rica School. The latter will hold a martial arts seminar Feb. 23-24.

To experience the artistic side of the Chinese culture, consider the art classes at the Professional Mandarin Language Academy in San Pedro, or crafty offerings at the Cultural and Educational Costa Rican-Chinese Center.

Those in search of Chinese cuisine will not be disappointed, as Chinese restaurants abound in downtown San José. If you want to learn to prepare Chinese food cuisine, visit Casa China restaurant, the Cultural and Educational Costa Rican-Chinese Center, the Professional Mandarin Language Academy, or the Sabores Gastronomic Center.

Authentic Chinese goods and curiosities can be found at places like Ancyfer, which sells kimonos, ceramics, food items and more. And for jewelry brought from Hong Kong, try Asian Shop (also called Centro de Artículos Chinos).

Celebrating the Year of the Snake

On Feb. 10, Tin-Jo restaurant will hold a party from 12:30-3:30 p.m. with plenty of food, traditional dances, fortune telling and more. Don Wang restaurant will also have a festive environment with Chinese traditions (from 11a.m.-10p.m.) and the dance of the lion (scheduled for 2p.m.).

Other celebrations for the Chinese New Year can be found throughout this month:

Casa China restaurant will continue to host parties until Feb. 16.

On Feb. 12, the Municipality of San José and the Chinese Colony Association are planning to break a Guinness record by cooking the largest fried rice in the world. Starting at 10 a.m., the grub is free and will be followed by artistic presentations representing both Chinese and Costa Rican culture.

On Feb. 23 at 10 a.m., the Cultural and Educational Costa Rican-Chinese Center and the Chinese embassy will celebrate with martial art demonstrations, live folk music and more.

Contact information

  • Ancyfer – 100 meters East and 50 m South of AyA, downtown San José, contact 2256-5840 or www.ancyfer.com.
  • Casa China Restaurant – On Av. 10 from Casa Matute 200 m East, contact 2222-1374 or www.casachinacr.com.
  • Centro de Artículos Chinos –On Av. 1, 175 m West from Hotel El Rey, downtown San José, contact 2257-8536 or www.asianshop.cr.
  • Confucio Institute – University of Costa Rica, Rodrigo Facio facility in San Pedro, contact 2511-6870.
  • Cultural and Educational Costa Rican-Chinese Center – 50 meters south of Casa del Tornillo, Barrio Chino, contact 2223-8585.
  • Don Wang Restaurant – C. 11 & Av. 6 and 8, 100 m East and 150 m North of AyA, contact 2223-5925 or www.donwangrestaurant.com.
  • Kung Fu Choy Lee Fut Costa Rica School – Av. 10 & C. 22 and 24, from Torre Mercedes 5 blocks South and 50 meters East, Barrio Don Bosco, contact 2248-1571 or www.choyleefutlatinoamerica.org.
  • Oriental Arts Center – diagonal from the Colegio de Ingenieros, Curridabat, contact 2280-2949 or www.artesorientales.com.
  • Professional Mandarin Language Academy – 175 m South from Il Pomodoro Pizzeria (behind Outlet Mall), San Pedro, contact 2253-4098 or facebook.com/apimcrr.
  • Sabores Gastronomic Center – Próspero Fernández highway, diagonal to San Rafael, Escazú exit, next to EPA warehouse, contact 2549-5035 or www.saboresenlinea.com/centro-gastronomico.
  • Sheng Long Martial Arts Center – currently Av. 10 & C. 22 and 24, from Torre Mercedes 5 blocks South and 50 meters East, Barrio Don Bosco, contact 2248-1571 or centromarcialcr.com.
  • Temple Kung Fu Shaolin Costa Rica – Barrio Escalante, from Santa Teresita church 200 m East and 20 m South, contact 8447-9065 or www.shaolincr.com.
  • Tin-Jo Restaurant – 100 m East and 125 m North of Casa del Tornillo, downtown San José, contact 2221-7605 or www.tinjo.com.
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