Today marks the start of the Lunar New Year, celebrated at the turn of the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar. Each year is associated with one of the 12 Chinese zodiac animals, and 2018 is the Year of the Dog. (Perhaps the most famous dog: Donald Trump. Others include David Bowie, Madonna, Mother Teresa, and both Prince William and Kate Middleton.)
The traditional two-week celebration is observed all over the world, including here in Houston, where there are dozens of cultural events to be found throughout the city. This weekend, festivities also occur in two major luxury shopping centers: River Oaks District and the Galleria.
River Oaks District
Saturday, February 17
The first 250 guests to 4444 Westheimer will receive "lucky money," red envelopes with $2 bills– a traditional way to wish good luck and share blessings; when the ROD concierge desk opens at 9 a.m., guests can also try an array of hot tea offered (for free) by Katz Coffee. Starting at 5 p.m., traditional dragon dancing will make its way around the District before heading to Le Colonial around 6. There, donations will be accepted for The Soaring Phoenix, which fundraises for impoverished communities in Vietnam.
Plus, the following ROD retailers offer their own Lunar New Year specials and promotions:
- Baccarat: A special gold Zodiaque Dog Figurine makes an elegant gift for those born under the sign or for collectors of animal figurines.
- Chopard: In-store champagne and chocolate service, plus a complimentary gift with purchase.
- Davidoff of Geneva: Limited edition Year of the Dog cigar box, featuring a Gran Churchill format enclosed in an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, with spicy flavors attributed to Nicaraguan Esteli Seco tobacco.
- de Boulle: New men's and women's "Calendar Moon Phase" watches. The men's is set in 18-karat rose gold and the women's in 18-karat white gold, and each contain a hand-stitched alligator square scale strap.
- Diptyque: Don Son Eau de Parfum channels the zest and vibrancy of the Lunar New Year. The classic Tubereuse candle will be available for purchase in a red glass container.
- Dolce & Gabbana: A capsule of special pieces inspired by the lunar calendar that highlights Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana's personal affinity for their beloved pets.
- John Hardy: Classic chain reversible bracelets collection, which celebrates the Lunar New Year as a symbol of eternal human connection and community bond.
- Stella McCartney: New signature Stella Star, a modern quilted bag crafted from soft Alter Nappa and featuring laser-cut quilted star designs and brushed gold star hardware.
- Theory: Shoppers select a "lucky red envelope" on Lunar New Year which will grant them 15–25 percent off their purchase. Envelopes feature Theory's dog character, designed in partnership with Brooklyn-based design studio Heavy Eyes.
February 17–18 and February 25–25
The Galleria celebrates the Year of the Dog in partnership with Asia Society Texas Center in a series of family-friendly activities including free arts and crafts projects, performances, games, and more, plus free gold chocolate coins and Lunar New Year tote bags throughout the celebration, which spans here for two weekends. The most noticeable emblem of the celebration is the Galleria's special Lunar New Year messaging, including a 25-foot by 25-foot Year of the Dog emblem on the iconic ice rink.
From noon–5 p.m. on the first level of Galleria VI (near Saks Fifth Avenue), light Chinese New Year lanterns for happiness and prosperity; make a special wish and attach it to a replica of Lam Tsuen Trees; create New Year cards with Japanese kimono designs; design a Mongolian Tsagaan Sar camel decoration; and make Year of the Dog masks.
Galleria in-store events and promotions include:
- ALDO: Limited-edition Lugolo sneakers.
- BOSS Hugo Boss: Exclusive gift with purchase of $388 or more through February 18.
- Bottega Veneta: Exclusive, limited Lunar New Year wallets, pouches, and keychains featuring this year's dog.
- Bvlgari: Red Bvlgari envelopes.
- Céline: In-store champagne and chocolates on the weekends of February 17 and 24.
- Coach: Custom moonbag charm and red handbags, plus 10 percent off.
- David Yurman: Glowing 18-karat old designs, and an exclusive red envelope set to honor the New Year.
- Gucci: Special collection of ready-to-wear and accessories featuring the faces of Orso and Bosco, the Boston terriers of Alessandro Michele, Gucci's creative director.
- Fabergé: Limited-edition Fabergé Palais Tsarskoye Selo Red Locket with Dog surprise, a limited-edition locket that's part of the Heritage Gift Collection.
- House of Samonsite: Free shopping tote with purchase, free luggage cover with purchase of $250 or more, and 30–50 percent off luggage.
- kate spade new york: Sips and snacks plus Year of the Dog purses, keychains, coin purses, and card holders; 20 percent off sale items February 15–19.
- Kid's Atelier: Up to 40 percent off children's Year of the Dog apparel from Molo.
- L'Occitane en Provence: Special Lunar New Year gift with purchase of $88 or more.
- Louis Vuitton: Year of the Dog necklace engraved with the iconic LV monogram that coordinates with the Maison's textiles and a matching leather bracelet.
- MCM: Golden Dog Charm with a 3D dog design in metallic leather accentuated with a logo chain and sunglasses.
- My Smile Whitening: BOGO 50 percent off all in-office packages.
- OMEGA Boutique: Free fragrance with any watch purchase.
- Origins: Oil-free hydrator in a limited edition Lunar New Year design.
- Robin's Jeans: Up to 40 percent off selected items and 30 percent off the entire European collection.
- Salvatore Ferragamo: Red envelope gift boxes with purchase of $1,500 or more.
- Sephora: Makeup Forever mega event on February 16 and 17–try the Ultra HD collection and score a new makeup look.
- Swarovski: A limited time Chinese New Year gift displaying 849 facets of golden crystal, an auspicious color. The curbed clear crystal base is inspired by the shape of Huang Jade fans and features the Swarovski logo and the Chinese character for 'dog.'
- Swatch: SWATCH WOOF, a wristwatch that honors the Year of the Dog.
- Versace: The Audrey Capsule, which features the feisty, feirce Audrey Versace–Donatella's dog. Special edition leather accessories feature hand-stitched patches for men and Audrey Edition DV One degradé bags for women.
- Yauatcha: To celebrate the Year of the Dog, Yauatcha has commissioned two leading London artists–Lydia Kasumi Shireff and Jamie Julien Brown–to recreate Chinese New Year lanterns on display through March 4. Plus, a Chinese New Year menu of festive dim sum and exclusive patisserie feature dishes inspired by the annual celebration.