Celebrate the Lunar New Year
The 2016 Lunar New Year begins on February 8 and ends on March 5, and New York City will celebrate with festivities taking place throughout the five boroughs this February. In addition to the traditional celebrations of the Lunar New Year in Flushing, Queens, Sunset Park, Brooklyn and Chinatown, Manhattan, events will take place on Madison Avenue, at the Javits Center North, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rudin Museum, Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) and many more locations around New York City.
My husband and I have had the good fortune to experience Lunar (Chinese) New Year in San Francisco, one of the largest celebrations outside of Asia, and it was incredible. We have also taken our son to the parade in NYC’s Chinatown and it is a wonderful celebration! We are excited this year to participate again! Especially because this is the first year the kids get a day off of school for it!
Check out the Hotel Nikko in San Francisco – it’s a great place to stay!
For the first time ever, the City will welcome the “Madison Street to Madison Avenue,” on February 6, where the Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations will extend from Chinatown to the Upper East Side. Held the week preceding the traditional Chinatown parade in New York City, the activities will include traditional Chinese lion dancers and dragons traveling from Chinatown to the Upper East Side in a decorated double decker bus. The celebrations will continue at the Harman Store and 527 Madison and will include family-friendly entertainment such as Chinese face painting, calligraphy, and a themed photo booth. Special performances will take place throughout the day from New York Eastern Chamber Orchestra conducted by Dr. Fei Fang and Peng Li, who will showcase the Chinese art of face mask changing.
Additional Lunar New Year celebrations and events taking place in the five boroughs include:
February 6th – Losar Family Day: Himalayan New Year Celebration
Lunar New Year is a time for families. Join the Rudin Museum for an afternoon of art, crafts, and music to celebrate Losar, the Himalayan New Year. Learn about traditional celebrations, go on a family tour of the galleries, listen to traditional music, and make auspicious crafts to take home.
February 6th – Family Day: Moon Over Manhattan! Celebrate Lunar New Year
Asia Society rings in the Year of the Monkey with performances and craft activities inspired by Lunar New Year traditions across Asia. Guests will enjoy a Lion Dance, kung fu demonstration, musical performances, and more.
February 6th – 10th – New York City Lunar New Year 2016 “Year of the Monkey Celebration”
The five-day-long Fantastic Art China: International Creative Festival marking the Lunar New Year holiday will be held Feb. 6-10 at iconic locations across the city and headlined by the Fantastic Art China exhibition at Javits Center North. The festival programs, events, and activities – all free and open to the public – will not only highlight Chinese arts and culture but also environmental conservation for monkeys in China. The festivities are presented by the China Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA).
February 7th – Chinese New Year: Year of the Monkey
Gung Hay Fat Choy – Happy New Year! Learn about the history of this ancient celebration and the symbolism of the Monkey. Create fun crafts and enjoy traditional snacks at the Greenbelt Nature Center.
Blast off into the New Year at the Better Chinatown Society’s Firecracker Ceremony & Cultural Festival at Sara D. Roosevelt Park at Grand Street. Activities start at 11:00 a.m., with the fireworks scheduled for 12:00 p.m.
February 9th – Chinese New Year Concert and Gala
Celebrate the Year of the Monkey with the New York Philharmonic. The festive Chinese New Year Concert features violinist Maxim Vengerov plus Nu Shu: The Secret Songs of Women by Tan Dun (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), in which ethereal harp and film projection draw you into the rarely seen, intimate world of a secret language created by Hunan women.
February 12th - Bamboo Meets Jazz: Starlight Forest
Celebrate the Lunar New Year with the sounds of the bamboo flute performed by renowned artist Han Chung Eun and his band Forest. Well known for his genre-crossing performances from jazz and classical music to K-pop, Han creates a uniquely beautiful and energetic program that celebrates Flushing’s colorful and rich cultural heritage through the fusion of sound and rhythm with Korean, Nordic, Celtic and American roots.
February 13th – Chinese New Year Family Celebration
Kick off the Year of the Monkey with a free lion dance and kung fu performance in front of our new space at 100 Washington Street. Following the lion dance, enter the China Institute for traditional food and New Year-themed workshops and activities including dumpling making, paper cutting, and a special Year of the Monkey craft.
February 13th – Lunar New Year Parade
Downtown Flushing is the site of Queens’ main Lunar New Year celebration. Meet up with marchers beforehand at the Chamber of Commerce and then head to 37th Avenue and Union Street for the parade’s 11:00 a.m. start. Expect music, floats, food and fun. If you’re looking for a meal afterward, consider these spots.
February 14th – Lunar New Year Celebration
Find a spot along Sunset Park’s Eighth Avenue to watch singers and dancers ring in the Lunar New Year. The parade begins at 11:00 a.m. at 50th Street and heads north; it’s a lively neighborhood affair sponsored by the Brooklyn Chinese-American Association. While in the neighborhood, be sure to enjoy a banquet or dim sum.
February 14th – Lunar New Year Parade & Festival
Check out Chinatown’s annual Lunar New Year celebration for stunning visuals, tantalizing treats, and impressive performances. This street party features all sorts of vendors, food, and festivities for all ages to welcome the Year of the Monkey. The parade goes through the main streets of Little Italy and Chinatown, and festivities start at 1:00 p.m.
February 20th -21st – Lunar New Year at the Queens Zoo
What better of a place to celebrate the year of the monkey than at a zoo? Activities each day include a Lunar New Year zodiac scavenger hunt, crafts, Chinese theatre works performances, tea, fortune cookies, and sea lion feedings.
February 21st – Calligraphy on Silk Fan
Welcome the Year of the Monkey with a calligraphy workshop led by Asian arts specialist Dr. Hsing-Lih Chou. Learn basic calligraphy to write wishes for the new year. Participants will begin by writing on paper and then write their messages of good fortune on Chinese silk fans. Every time you wave your fan you’ll be spreading your positive message into the New Year!
February 27th -28th – Lunar New Year at the Prospect Park Zoo
Ring in the new year at the Prospect Park Zoo with the Hao Bang Ah Monkey puppet show, monkey treats, Lunar New Year Zodiac scavenger hunt, calligraphy, Lunar New Year crafts, Discovery Center introduction to zodiac animals and sea lion feedings.
February 28th – Lunar New Year Family Festival
Visitors of all ages are invited to celebrate Chinese and Chinese American traditions and folk arts! Enjoy an awe-inspiring lion dance, create zodiac themed crafts, embark on storytelling journeys, and sway along with Chinatown’s Red Silk Dancers – and much more family fun at MOCA.
February 28th – Monkey Mask Craft & Dance Workshop
In this creative and engaging workshop, children will discover the beauty of Korean culture while crafting and dancing. After a brief introduction about Tal Chum (Korean traditional mask dance), children can make their own Monkey Tal to celebrate the Year of the Monkey and learn Tal Chum moves. This workshop will stimulate your child’s eye-hand coordination, movement skills, and most importantly, curiosity about new cultures.
Through July 24th – Monkey Business: Celebrating the Year of the Monkey
In celebration of the Year of the Monkey—as per the Chinese Zodiac—the Metropolitan Museum of Art presents this exhibition that highlights artistic representations of monkeys in a variety of media, including ceramics, metal work, painting and jade carving. Some of the most coveted pieces are a 12th-century painting of three monkey’s raiding an egret’s nest, along with a porcelain plate that depicts monkeys and deer under a tree.