While January 1 marks the beginning of a new calendar year, today is the beginning of the Lunar New Year meaning it is officially the Year of the Dog.
The Lunar New Year, also known as the Chinese New Year or the Spring Festival, is based around the moon’s cycle and also commemorates the beginning of Spring. There are twelve animals that represent the 12-year zodiac cycle, with each one corresponding with a set of beliefs surrounding things like health, luck, prosperity, wealth, and so on.
You can expect tons of celebrations to take place over the next week or so and in case you needed some help with knowing what’s happening where, we’ve rounded up a few good picks below.
New Year Firecracker Ceremony & Cultural Festival
Beginning on Friday at 11 a.m., the Better Chinatown Society will kick off the Year of the Dog with the annual firecracker ceremony in Chinatown. Thousands of fireworks will be sparked in an attempt to fend off bad spirits, followed by dancing and other performances. The event takes place in Sara D. Roosevelt Park.
Lunar New Year Parade in Flushing
On Saturday, February 18 beginning at 11 a.m. Flushing’s Chinatown neighborhood will bring in the new year with their annual parade that showcases costumes, floats, dancing, and more. The procession will begin at Union Street and 37th Avenue.
Lunar New Year Show
Battery Park City’s shopping center, Brookfield Place will welcome a family-friendly show hosted by the New York Chinese Cultural Center. The performance will include m martial arts demonstrations, music, and dancing. It all takes place on Satuday, February 17 between 2 p.m. and 3:15 p.m.
The Costume Art of Imperial Peking Opera
Flushing Town Hall will open its doors for a rare exhibit that displays the costumes and outfits that once adorned emperors and queens. The exhibit is only open on weekends at 2 p.m. from February 17 through March 11, and has a $5 suggested donation.
Lunar New Year Family Festival
On Saturday, February 17, the Museum of Chinese in America will celebrate the new year with an afternoon of family-friendly, workshops, performances, arts and crafts, and food tasting. The fun kicks off at 11 a.m. and will last until 4 p.m. Tickets go or $12/person for non-members of the museum.
Brooklyn Lunar New Year Parade
The Brooklyn Chinese-American Association will host its annual Lunar New Year Parade this Sunday, February 18, in Sunset Park. The parade kicks off at 11 a.m. and will feature lion and dragon dancers, cultural performances, speeches from local elected officials, and fireworks. The festivities kick off at 11 a.m. on Eighth Avenue and 50th Street in Sunset Park.
19th Annual New York City Lunar New Year Parade and Festival
In its 19th consecutive year, Chinatown’s Lunar New Year Parade is unarguably the city’s biggest and most popular celebration of the holiday. Beginning at Mott and Canal streets, the parade will make its way through Chinatown, showcasing festive floats, dancers, and music groups before ending near Sara D. Roosevelt Park. It all happens on Sunday, February 25 starting at 1 p.m.
- Where to celebrate Lunar New Year in New York City [NY Daily News]