Looking to liven up your winter? Then put the Lunar New Year on your calendar. This year the Chinese New Year is celebrated on Saturday, January 28, but New York City has parades, events, and parties to launch the Year of the Rooster spanning from mid-January through the end of February. Kids will love feasting on both the sights and tastes of the colorful New Year’s celebrations.
Here are some of favorite ways for families to celebrate the 2017 Lunar New Year in NYC:
Lunar New Year Celebration in Brooklyn
Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College presents Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company’s Lunar New Year Celebration, an all-new family-friendly celebration of Chinese culture commemorating the Year of the Rooster, on January 22 at 3pm.
New Year’s Day Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival
The Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival in Manhattan’s Chinatown is the first of the two big Chinese New Year events in this neighborhood—and this year it takes place on the actual first day of the New Year. The noise-heavy celebration, during which some 600,000 fireworks are set off, is at Sara D. Roosevelt Park from 11am to 3:30pm; firecracker kickoff is at noon.
Madison Street to Madison Avenue Lunar New Year Celebration, Manhattan
Also held on Sunday, the second annual Madison Street to Madison Avenue event takes place in East Midtown and includes musical performances, a traditional Chinese marionette show, and martial arts. A Lion Dance troupe will also make its way along Madison Avenue from East 42nd Street to East 86th Street on a decorated trolley.
Lunar New Year Celebration in Sunset Park, Brooklyn
Sunset Park, home to Brooklyn’s most prominent Chinatown, welcomes a festive Lunar New Year celebration the next day, Sunday, January 29. The parade begins at Eighth Avenue and 50th Street at 11am and heads north. (Stick around after the festivities to explore Eighth Avenue’s authentic dining and shopping scene.)
Chinese New Year Celebration: Year of the Rooster
The China Institute celebrates the Lunar New Year with a two-part event. From 1 to 3:30pm, family workshops on lantern crafting, dumpling making and storytelling will be held. A half-hour children’s dance demonstration provides the bridge to the second phase, a party from 4 to 7pm that includes a colorful lion dance, musical performances and traditional foods.
5. The 18th Annual New York City Lunar New Year Parade & Festival takes place on February 5 in Manhattan’s Chinatown, with the parade kicking off at 1pm.
Lunar New Year Festival: Year of the Rooster
The Met Fifth Avenue commemorates the Lunar New Year with family-friendly activities centered around performances. From 11am to 5pm, more than 20 events will take place: a Sesame Street puppeteers show and photo op, a Chinese opera, traditional music performances, storytelling sessions, a parade and artist-led workshops focusing on drawing, paper folding and a collaborative rooster project.
February 5, 12, 19 and 26
Firebird Masks and Lanterns & Losar Family Day
The Rubin Museum’s Family Sundays Drop-In Art Workshop takes on a special theme on Sundays in February in honor of the Lunar New Year. On February 5, 12 and 26, kids ages 3 and older (along with accompanying adults) can drop by to make a bird mask or a Chinese lantern. The latter is in honor of the Chinese Lantern Festival, which takes place on the last day of the Lunar New Year observation; the former is for Losar, the Himalayan New Year, which also gets its own celebratory day at the museum on February 19. All events are free.
January 21 and February 11
Lunar New Year Family Festival
Celebrate Chinese and Chinese-American traditions at the Museum of Chinese in America’s annual Lunar New Year Family Festival. From 11am to 4pm enjoy workshops, demonstrations, dance performances, food, storytelling and crafts. On January 21, come to the museum between 1 and 4pm for the Lunar New Year Museum Makeover; you can create handmade decorations to help transform the museum for the February 11 fete.