During the weekend of February 19 to 22, Bloomingdale’s will be decking their halls in bright red, but not because they’re clinging desperately to Valentine’s Day décor. Thursday, February 19 is the Chinese New Year, and the department store is throwing a series of themed events to celebrate, from dumpling sampling to free acupuncture.
This will be Bloomingdale’s third annual Chinese New Year celebration. “[We] look forward to honoring Chinese culture and tradition,” says Tony Spring, Bloomingdale’s chairman and CEO. “We invite all loyal shoppers and tourists to join the festivities." The upcoming Chinese New Year kicks off the Year of the Sheep (also known as the year of the ram or goat), which lasts from February 19, 2015 to February 7, 2016.
On the 19th, Bloomingdale’s kicks off the celebration, while activities on Friday the 20th include tarot card readings and Chinese calligraphy. Saturday the 21st is packed with everything from Chinese lion dancers to martial arts demonstrations and free Zodiac nail art; Sunday the 22nd features paper cutting, lantern making, traditional Chinese medicine, and more. The store will be filled with in red lanterns, cosmetic samples will be tucked, adorably, into Chinese takeout boxes, and there will be fortune cookies at every register, daring you to face your fate (or at least find out your week’s lucky numbers). And a store-wide Red Envelope promotion involves every single person in the store—anyone can grab an envelope, and each envelope is guaranteed to contain a prize, from free fro-yo to $888 store credit.
Bloomingdale’s has designed specific pieces to fit with the Year of the Ram theme, like an exclusive little red bag with a ram print, a silver ram charm, and red ram-shaped salt and pepper shakers. There’s a “Chinese New Year” collector’s edition makeup palette from YSL and enough bright red clothing to last you ’til the Year of the Monkey.
Of course, Bloomingdale’s isn’t the only place in Chicago where you can celebrate the Chinese New Year. The Chinese-American Museum of Chicago is throwing a delicious food-centric celebration on February 14 at 2 p.m., where a Chinese cuisine expert will “demystify” the celebration and pass out sweet sesame dumplings. And head down to Chinatown proper on February 22 to catch the Year of the Ram parade.
For more information about Bloomingdale’s Chinese New Year activities, check out the Bloomingdale’s event calendar.