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Chinese New Year Chicago 2013: Ringing In The Year Of The Snake In The Windy City

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Chinese New Year starts Feb. 10 and lasts for 15 days. The Lunar New Year kicks off the Year of the Snake. (Alamy)
Chinese New Year starts Feb. 10 and lasts for 15 days. The Lunar New Year kicks off the Year of the Snake. (Alamy)

Sunday marks the beginning of Chinese New Year, and for 2013, drums are beating to ring in the year of the snake.

Though it's a major holiday for Chinese families, the celebrations have become widely embraced—even President Obama got in on the festivities. In a Friday statement, the President said:

"Michelle and I send our warmest wishes to all those who will be celebrating the Lunar New Year this Sunday, February 10th. Here in America and around the world, people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent will welcome the Year of the Snake. In Chinese tradition, the snake represents wisdom, and a thoughtful approach to tackling the challenges before us – principles that I hope will continue to guide us as we perfect our union and create a more just and equal future for every American. Our challenges may be great, but our diversity and the traditions that thrive here give us the strength to meet them. To everyone celebrating the Lunar New Year, I wish you peace, prosperity and good health and fortune."

In Chicago, Chinatown is the naturally the epicenter for most of the events during the 15-day long celebration, but other events ringing in Chinese New Year (also called Lunar New Year) are happening in other neighborhoods, too. HuffPost Chicago rounds up a mix of events, restaurants and new year's-themed activities to help celebrants get in the spirit of the Snake.

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