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

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 the Bloomington and Peoria area 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 OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois at the register.

Over 5000 children are patients at OSF Children’s Hospital of Illinois each year. We also have many programs and services to teach kids about being safe and healthy so hopefully, they can avoid a hospital visit.

Join nearly 20% of the world that celebrated the thousands of years old tradition of Lunar New Year at Panda Express.

In 2019, Panda Express employees and customers donated more than $36,413 to OSF Children’s Hospital of Illinois. Thanks to this donation, our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit was able to purchase bedside cameras that allow video visits for parents who are not able to be at the hospital or other loved ones such as out of state grandparents.