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Celebrate Lunar New Year and the Year of the Rat at Panda Express

Mark your calendars because January 25, 2020 marks the beginning of Lunar New Year and the Year of the Rat in the Chinese zodiac and Panda Express is a great place to celebrate!

Lunar New Year traditionally includes the coming together of family and friends to feast and welcome the new year. A variety of lucky foods are served because of their symbolic meaning surrounding either their Chinese pronunciation or physical appearance—with individual dishes representing specific aspects of good fortune to come in the new year.

Panda Express locations in San Diego serve egg rolls which symbolize wealth; long chow mein noodles that symbolize long life; and their limited-time Firecracker Shrimp that symbolize happiness—making celebrating Lunar New Year with your family fun and delicious!

Through February 8, Panda Express is inviting guests to their Celebration of Good Fortune by sharing Lunar New Year traditions with the first-ever augmented reality mobile experience. Be sure to snap a photo of yourself catching lucky foods, joining in on the lion dance and basking in the beautiful glow of the red lanterns. Share your video and photo with your loved ones for a chance to win a Lunar New Year-themed trip in 2021.

Another tradition of Lunar New Year is the giving of red envelopes, called hong bao in Mandarin, and traditionally, these monetary gifts are given from the older generation to a younger generation. At the heart of this tradition, the act of giving is wishing good fortune and prosperity upon one another. You can receive your very own red envelope on Celebration Day, January 25, at any Panda Express location nationwide—inside you’ll find a coupon for their new Firecracker Shrimp and drink as well as a fun tangram for the kids. You can also make your own red envelope donation to kids treated at Rady Children’s Hospital at the register.

Your donation will help kids like Grace.

On October 10, 2013 Grace arrived 10 weeks early, weighing only 2 pounds, 12 ounces. She was immediately rushed to the Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Grace was so small and struggled to breathe, so she needed to be intubated (a tube was placed down her throat into her lungs and a machine was breathing for her). For the next 45 days, Grace’s mom, Laura, spent every day with her baby in the NICU. Laura remembers the first time she got to hold her; the staff put little Grace on her chest. Finally, on the Monday before Thanksgiving, Grace was strong enough to go home at only 4.5 pounds! Today, Grace is six and loves dance parties with her cousin, swimming, running and anything outdoors.