The Lunar New Year is a time of rebirth and excitement for those who observe! From the fanfare and great food to the lavish lavish performances and parades, the occasion is certainly a sight to behold. Chinatown is, of course, going all out per usual to mark this year’s celebration with its annual parade. The date is quickly approaching and figuring out how to get the most out of the festivities doesn’t have to be a headache. New Yorkers are in luck, Lunar New Year in NYC’s Chinatown is a cut above the rest! Get a sense of where to go and what to do right here with the best guide to the event.
What is Lunar New Year?
The Lunar New Year, also known as The Chinese New Year, is a two-week-long festival celebrating new beginnings, emphasizing gratitude, and important things like spending time with loved ones.
2024 is the Year of the Dragon, a long-held symbol in China that represents charisma, intelligence, power, luck, wisdom, nobility, prosperity, and the sharpest sense of self among all other Chinese zodiac signs.
When does it happen?
The Lunar New Year starts Saturday, Feb. 10, and ends Saturday, Feb. 24.
What about the parade?
This year’s parade will happen on Saturday, February 25th. The event is free. The Chinatown event is set to begin at 1pm and last two hours, starting on Mott/Canal Street and ending near Grand Street at Sara D. Roosevelt Park. Festival booths are set to be on Bayard St. between Mott St and Mulberry St. Smaller activities and vendors will likely make an appearance during the parade but specifics have not been set in stone as of yet. It’s best to arrive early if front-row viewing spots are desired.
Where can I eat?
There are plenty of amazing restaurants in Chinatown folks can visit after the main event! Hong Kong Supermarket, Oriental Garden, and Kam Hing Coffee Shop are also in neighboring Little Italy for guests to peruse and enjoy. According to cultural traditions, the seven luckiest foods to eat during the Lunar New Year are:
Yú (fish), is said to bring an increase in prosperity.
Jiaozi (dumplings), for wealth.
Chun Juan (spring rolls), for wealth.
Tang Yuan (glutinous rice balls), for family togetherness.
Good Fortune Fruit, for fullness and wealth.
Nian Gao (sticky rice cakes), for a higher income or a higher position.
Chang Shou Mian (Longevity Noodles), for happiness and longevity.
The New Year Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival is slated for February 10th from 11am – 3:30pm at Sara D. Roosevelt Park. The event is free to attend and includes firecrackers, fireworks, and lion dancers.
Think!Chinatown is running their Walking with Lions and Other Chinatown New Year Traditions solo show every Thursday and Friday from 3-6pm at their studio on 1 Pike St. until February 25th. This free black-and-white film photography exhibition captured by Edward Cheng details the intricacies and distinctiveness of Manhattan Chinatown-specific rituals and historic traditions over the decades.
The Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) is also nearby for those interested in learning more about Chinese history and culture in the country.
For any other inquiries or impending information, visit Chinatown’s official website to keep up with any new developments.