Lunar New Year, coming February 1, marks the beginning of spring and start of the new year for Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tibetan, Mongolian and a handful of other Asian cultures who follow the lunisolar Chinese calendar. Each country has a different name for the holiday (Spring Festival, Tet, Seollal and Chinese New Year among them), which honors deities and ancestors, and proper celebration of the event is believed to set up a prosperous year. One of 12 Chinese zodiac animals represents each lunar year; 2022 is the Year of the Tiger, which signals strength and bravery.
New York City’s sizeable Asian population means there is no shortage of ways to celebrate Lunar New Year in the City. You can support Asian-owned businesses, see programming at cultural institutions across the city, watch lion dances and attend fireworks celebrations—read on for those and other ways to observe the Year of the Tiger in neighborhoods around the boroughs.
Battery Park City, Manhattan
Take in a series of family-friendly events at Brookfield Place. There will be three days of ice carving and sculpture display, courtesy of Long Island City–based Okamoto Studio; on the last of those days, in conjunction with New York Chinese Cultural Center, kids can make lanterns out of DIY kits.
Multiple dates and locations
Welcome to Chinatown has created a themed shopping guide to the Chinatown area that can be found on their website; it includes trinket stores, plant shops and places to get traditional foods such as dumplings and bao buns.
Tuesday, February 1, and Sunday, February 20
BetterChinatown.com organizes two of the City’s biggest Lunar New Year events: the Firecracker Ceremony & Cultural Festival, at the beginning of February in Sara D. Roosevelt Park, and the Lunar New Year Parade & Festival, nearly three weeks later. Both light up the neighborhood with performances, processions, colorful decorations and the like.
Crown Heights, Brooklyn
Saturday, February 5, 2–3pm
Brooklyn Children’s Museum rings in the Year of the Tiger with programming for all ages. Guests will learn about traditional Lunar New Year festivities through performances, calligraphy workshops, puppet shows and more.
Tuesday, February 1–Wednesday, February 16
Flushing Town Hall’s popular, longstanding Lunar New Year celebration returns in person with an art exhibit, Chinese documentary film festival and concert that pairs musicians from Korea and Armenia.
Saturday, February 5, 11am
Downtown Flushing is the site for the festive Flushing New Year Parade, which returns this year and sets off from 37th Avenue and Union Street. The local chamber of commerce organizes a meetup beforehand, with coffee and snacks, at St. George's Church.
Saturday, February 5, noon to 3pm
The Queens Botanical Garden welcomes those looking for good fortune in the new year with an afternoon of activities including lion dances, scavenger hunts, community art projects and zodiac-animal storytelling.
Hudson Yards, Manhattan
The Shops at Hudson Yards showcase larger-than-life lanterns throughout its space. On the first floor, lion dances and ribbon-twirling displays take place Saturdays through February 14—performances that are held in partnership with New York Chinese Cultural Center.
Lincoln Square, Manhattan
Tuesday, February 8, 7:30pm, Alice Tully Hall
Korean-Canadian conductor Earl Lee leads a Lunar New Year special program—an annual Lincoln Center tradition since 2012—by the New York Philharmonic that includes Li Huanzhi’s Spring Festival Overture, Bizet’s Carmen Fantasie and Ma Sicong’s Nostalgia.
Long Island City, Queens
Through Monday, February 28
Long Island City Partnership has curated fun events, promotions and performances from local LIC businesses, organizations and cultural institutions. Check out their first-ever LIC Lunar New Year Digital Guide for area specials and happenings.
Saturday, January 29, 12:30–4pm
At Socrates Sculpture Park, go on a self-guided scavenger hunt through the park grounds and its artwork, designed to help you understand the lunar cycle. Make your own tea blend with herbs that grow in the park garden, and take part in a light-sculpture workshop.
Randall Manor, Staten Island
Saturday, January 29, 2–4pm
The Staten Island Museum and Korean Community Development Center offer an opportunity for you to tap into your creativity by ornament making, calligraphy writing and more. Goodie bags with Korean treats will be available.