Courtesy of Pearl River Mart
The two-week Lunar New Year festival begins next week, ushering in the Year of the Tiger. From February 1 to February 15, the Lunar New Year celebrates the end of winter and looks forward to spring and new beginnings. With multiple Chinatowns and diverse Asian communities spread across the five boroughs, New York City offers many ways to celebrate the New Year, including fireworks, parades, lion dance performances, the manufacture of lanterns, etc.
Photo by Rhododendrites on Wikimedia
Lunar New Year Firecracker Ceremony
Start the Lunar New Year off with a bang. The Better Chinatown USA Firecracker Festival takes place on Tuesday, February 1, the first day of the New Year. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and typically includes a day of performances, arts and crafts, and fireworks, a tradition believed to ward off evil spirits.
Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade and Festival
The 24th annual Lunar New Year Parade returns to Chinatown this year. On Sunday, February 20, the parade begins at 1 p.m. on Mott and Canal streets and moves from Chattam Square to East Broadway, down the Manhattan Bridge and ends near Sara D. Roosevelt Park. Hosted by Better Chinatown USA, the free event also includes vendors and live performances celebrating the Year of the Tiger.
The non-profit Asia Society ushers in the Year of the Tiger will be a day full of virtual family fun. On January 29, see musical performances by Elena Moon Park, Vietnamese songs by Vân-Ánh Võ, a lion dance and kung fu demonstration by Bo Law Kung Fu, and a puppet show featuring puppets at traditional chinese gloves “budaixi”. The free event begins at 1 p.m. and will be streamed live on YouTube and Facebook.
Brooklyn Children’s Museum
Celebrate the Year of the Tiger with live music, calligraphy and a rooftop lion dance parade. Hosted by the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, the Feb. 5 event is split into two sessions, a morning program from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and an afternoon session from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Children will discover the festival through stories and Mandarin lessons. with author Michele Wong McSween, live music, a Chinese calligraphy workshop with Nelson Leung, and a lion dance parade by young lions from the Chinatown community. Book a seat here.
Brookfield Place and New York’s Chinese Cultural Center
During the first week of February, Brookfield Place hosts a multi-day Lunar New Year celebration. The plaza will feature ice sculptures by local art collective Okamoto Studio. Watch a live ice carving demonstration and enjoy the carvings February 3-5. This Saturday there will be free DIY kits for making Lunar New Year lanterns, provided by the Chinese Cultural Center of New York.
Photo courtesy of Bryant Park
At the Bank of America Winter Village in Bryant Park, a celebration of the Year of the Tiger begins Feb. 1 with a display of silk lanterns. Midtown Park will also feature a special lion dance performance by the New York Chinese Cultural Center on February 6 at 3 p.m.
Institute of China
The China Institute is hosting a free online event to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Tune in Saturday, January 29 at 10 a.m. for an interactive cartoon workshop, story time, and lantern art creation. Register for the free event and download the materials here.
Glow Community Center Lunar New Year Street Fair
Flushing’s Glow Community Center is hosting a free all-day Lunar New Year event on Saturday, January 29. The event begins with a parade in front of the Flushing Library, followed by a cultural street fair featuring hundreds of works of Chinese folk art. then art demonstrations, including “acrobatics, face changes, paper cutting, sugar painting and roasting chestnuts,” according to the center. Live performances can be viewed online.
Tiger and Magpie by Stephanie S Lee, from Flushing Town Hall’s Lunar New Year exhibit “Reconcile: Begin Anew” (opening February 5)
Vlissingen Town Hall
This year, an in-person Lunar New Year celebration returns to Flushing City Hall for the first time since the pandemic began. From February 5 to 16, the Queens institution will host Reconcile: start over, a free art exhibit featuring the works of eight Asian American immigrant artists, including Sophia Chizuco, Cui Fei, Chemin Hsiao, Woomin Kim, Stephanie S. Lee, Weihui Lu, Pony Ma, Yu-Whuan Wang.
Flushing Town Hall will also present a Lunar New Year Film Festival on February 5-6, featuring three films followed by a Q&A segment. The event’s festivities will end on February 13 with a concert, “Korea meets Armenia,” part of a series that features musical mashups by artists from different countries. Tickets are $15 for non-members.
Lunar New Year at the Met
On January 29, the Metropolitan Museum of Art will host an online celebration in honor of the Lunar New Year. The free one-day event includes dance performances from the Vietnam Heritage Center and artist Vincent Chong, who will write golden calligraphy on high heels. Participants can learn how to make a paper lantern, create a mandala, and listen to bilingual story time with Drag Queen Story Time.
The dish Celebrating the year of the tiger The exhibition opens on January 29 and explores the significance of tigers in the Chinese zodiac. On display until next January, the exhibition includes objects depicting tigers created over the past 3,000 years.
New York Philharmonic Lunar New Year Concert
Celebrate the Year of the Tiger with acclaimed performers at the New York Philharmonic. As part of a special Lunar New Year concert on February 8, violinist Stella Chen joins the Orchestra in the Orchester de Bizet Carmen Fantasy and Ma Sicong’s Nostalgia. Hera Hyesang sings songs by Dvořák, Cho Doo-nam and Lim Geung-soo. and Earl Lee conducts favorites by Berlioz and Dukas, as well as Spring Festival Overture by Li Huanzhi. Buy tickets, priced from $90 to $159, here.
Courtesy of Pearl River Mart
pearl river market
Pearl River Mart, a longtime New York favorite for its unique Asian-inspired decor, is hosting a few festive events to mark the New Year. At the Chelsea Market store on February 5, sample a special Lunar New Year menu (think kimbap rolls, baos and bubble tea) from vendors such as Mao’s Bao, Kimbap Lab, Tea & Milk and Kitsby. Reserve a private heated cabin outside and enjoy a front row seat to watch a performance by the Wan Chi Ming Hung Gar Institute Dragon and Lion Dance Team. A meal for four people at a heated outdoor table starts at $208.00 and $308 for six people. Book a table here.
Pearl River Mart also sells a friendship box, which includes lucky food, lucky red money envelopes, a noisemaker to scare away evil spirits, a zodiac activity book, the latest almanac of chinese pocket, and more.
Chinese of America Museum
Enjoy a week of free virtual Lunar New Year events with the Museum of Chinese in America, considered one of the largest museums dedicated to the Chinese-American experience. The online festival will feature all things tiger, including crafts and home stories. Other fun activities include a free dumpling-making class, a ribbon-dancing workshop, and a meet-and-greet with author Eugenia Chu.
Korean Lunar New Year Museum in Staten Island
The Staten Island Museum in Snug Harbor is partnering with the Korea Community Development Center to celebrate Lunar New Year. At the in-person event, attendees can craft custom festive ornaments makeupa traditional Korean craft of knotting, have their names written in calligraphy, compete in jegichagia game similar to hackysack, and take home a goodie bag with traditional Korean sweets like dalgona.
Lewis Latimer House Museum
The Lewis Latimer House Museum, once home to African-American inventor Lewis Latimer, will host a Lunar New Year craft festival. In collaboration with Chinese Theater Works, the February 5 event includes a workshop on shadow puppet making and an introduction to Chinese opera. The two-hour event is free and will take place virtually on Zoom.
Photos by Eryn Hatzithomas courtesy of Queens Botanical Garden
Queen’s Botanical Garden
The Queens Botanical Garden is hosting several Lunar New Year events this year, including their annual Lucky Plant Sale. Until February 13, take your pick of plants, from jade plants to peace lilies, available for purchase in the garden shop. You can also be part of a community art project by creating a tiger stripe sign or decorating a tiger face to display during the month of February. On Saturday, February 5, QBG will host a day-long celebration event that will include a winter scavenger hunt, compost tours (offered in Mandarin and English), lion dance performances, take-out crafts, and more. Reserve a spot for the free event here.
Hudson Yards Shops
The sprawling upscale Hudson Yards mall is adorned with Lunar New Year decorations, including “larger than life” lanterns throughout the space. In partnership with the New York Chinese Cultural Center, free performances featuring traditional lion dances and ribbon swirls will take place on January 29, February 5 and February 12 at 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. on the first level of the mall. Any shopper who spends $188 in stores will receive a free set of wands in a silk sleeve.
Chinese Lunar New Year, Lunar New Year