This Saturday, January 28, is the first day of the Lunar New Year. We’re about to move from the year of the Monkey to the year of the Rooster so it’s time to contact your loved ones, clean your house, and buy some new clothes. When you’re finished with all that, hit up some of these cool (and mostly free) Chinese New Year celebrations over the next three weekends.
Saturday, Jan. 28
Lunar New Year Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival
Sara D. Roosevelt Park, Grand Street between Chrystie and Forsyth Streets; Chinatown; 11am-3:30pm; free
Tens of thousands of New Yorkers are expected to pour into Sara D. Roosevelt Park for a shower firecrackers, great food, giveaways, and entertainment. Come at 11am to eat dumplings and other traditional holiday bites and prepare your eardrums for the 600,000 firecrackers expected to be set off at noon, in order to scare off evil spirits.
Saturday, Jan. 28
Chinese New Year Temple Bazaar at the Flushing Town Hall
137-35 Northern Blvd, Flushing; 11am-1pm session and 2pm-4pm session; $5
If you’re not into loud noises and the smell of gunpowder in the morning, check out Flushing Town Hall’s third annual temple bazaar. In China, New Years celebrants have long flocked to temple fairs for prayer, food, shopping, and entertainment. This Queens version– offering martial arts performances, cultural crafts and plenty of eats– is indoors, offering an escape from the bitter cold.
Sunday, Jan. 29
Lunar New Year Parade, Sunset Park
Begins at Eighth Avenue and 50th Street, Sunset Park; 11am; free
Hosted by the Brooklyn Chinese-American Association, this parade is another opportunity to spend the day outside. It’ll be smaller than the big one in Chinatown on Feb. 5 but it still promises to pack a punch, thanks to furious drumming and wild costumes.
Saturday, Feb. 4
Rockin’ Rooster Chinese New Year Concert at the China Institute
100 Washington Street, Financial District; 4pm to 6pm; $20.
A concert at the China Institute featuring a lion dance and four musicians: Mr. Cake, a local punk rock band, Sungbeats, local beatboxer, Kohei, guitarist from a Japanese anime rock band called The Asterplace, and TiA, a J-pop singer-songwriter. Check out the link for more details.
Sunday, Feb. 5
18th Annual New York City Lunar New Year Parade & Festival
Suggested viewing locations: East Broadway or by Grand Street / Sara Roosevelt Park;12pm-4:30pm; Parade kick-off starts at 1:00pm; free
Operated by Better Chinatown Society, this is NYC’s biggest Chinese New Year Parade. Come for food and entertainment and watch the iconic lion dance as it makes its way through Chinatown. Make sure to show up early if you want a good spot.
Saturday, Feb. 11
Year of the Rooster Celebration at Brookfield Place
Winter Garden, 230 Vesey Street; 2pm; free.
The New York Chinese Cultural Center has put on New Years shows for three decades. Stop by this one and watch some traditional dancing with silky red ribbons and billowing shirtsleeves, martial arts demonstrations, and Chinese opera singing. A 1:30pm lion parade will precede the 2pm performances.