FESTIVITIES for Lunar New Year (or Chinese New Year) begin all over the world this week as the Year of the Tiger is welcomed in. The festival consists of spring cleaning, fireworks, and mountains of delicious traditional food, marking new beginnings with the first new moon of the year.
New York City has the highest ethnic Chinese population of any city outside of Asia, so it’s only right that the city celebrates the new year in flamboyant style. Here’s a list of events you can get involved in this month:
Local organisation Better Chinatown USA is hosting two events this Spring Festival, the first of which is the 24th New Year Firecracker Ceremony & Cultural Festival on the 1st of February (tomorrow), the first day of the New Year. Hundreds of thousands of firecrackers and lanterns will be set off in the park and will be accompanied by lion dances, craft vendors, and lots of brilliant food.
Place & time: Sara D. Roosevelt Park, Grand Street | Feb 1, 11am – 3.30pm
Later in the month on the 20th of February, Better Chinatown USA are putting on the 24th Annual Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade and Festival, a walking celebration which will run from Mott & Canal to Chatham Square to East Broadway towards the Manhattan Bridge, completing on Eldridge and Forsyth Streets towards Grand Street next to Sara D. Roosevelt Park.
Place & time: Kimlau Square, Park Row in Chinatown | Feb 20, 12pm – 4pm
Join the team at BCM as they roll in the Year of the Tiger with live music, calligraphy workshops, and a rooftop lion dance led by the Chinatown Community Young Lions. Guests and their little ones can also learn about the Lunar Festival through storytelling with author Michelle Wong McSween. BCM is asking for proof of at least one vaccine for all visitors over five years old, with tickets costing $13.
Place & time: 145 Brooklyn Ave, Brooklyn NY | Feb 5 10am, – 1pm
The revered New York Philharmonic is putting on a special Lunar New Year concert on the 8th of February, ringing in the new year in sophistication and style. Violinist Stella Chen joins the Orchestra in Bizet’s Carmen Fantasie and Ma Sicong’s Nostalgia, and Hera Hyesang sings songs by Dvořák, Cho Doo-nam, and Lim Geung-soo. Earl Lee conducts audience favourites by Berlioz and Dukas, as well as Li Huanzhi’s Spring Festival Overture. Tickets can be found here.
Place & time: Alice Tully Hall, 1941 Broadway | Feb 8, 7.30pm
Brookfield Place is hosting multiple days of celebration this week with lots going on. NYC-based artist collective Okamoto Studio will be doing some live ice sculptures towards the end of the week, then some free kid’s crafts workshops will be put on at the weekend by the New York Chinese Cultural Center. Kits are first come first serve, so get down there quick!
Place & time: Brookfield Place, 230 Vesey Street | Feb 3-5, full schedule can be found here
NOTE: The popular Lunar New Year at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music Garden has been postponed due to adverse weather conditions.