Lunar New Year Events

Heather Liang

Lunar New Year—also known as Chinese New Year—is a joyful time for celebrants, who mark it by honoring family and hoping for good fortune. Home to a large population that observes the occasion, New York City will usher in the Year of the Rooster in a big way—most notably at parades in Manhattan’s Chinatown, Queens’ Flushing neighborhood and Brooklyn’s Sunset Park. Read on for details of these events and a few other can’t-miss festivities throughout the City.

January 28
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 one 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.

January 29
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 parade begins at Eighth Avenue and 50th Street at 11am and heads north. Expect elected officials to march, many of them from the Brooklyn Chinese-American Association, which sponsors the day’s event. Stick around after the festivities to explore Eighth Avenue’s authentic dining and shopping scene.

January 31
Chinese New Year Celebration
The Philharmonic's celebration of the Year of the Rooster features Puccini’s Turandot; Chinese folk and art songs; a new trumpet concerto, Joie Éternelle (Eternal Joy); and Ravel’s Boléro.

February 4
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.

February 4
Lunar New Year Parade in Flushing, Queens
Flushing is home to Queens’ first—and largest—Chinatown neighborhood. As such, the area’s Lunar New Year Parade is a huge draw each year, with vibrant costumes, floats, dancing and traditional Chinese celebrations. Start off with a warm-up reception at the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce from 10 to 11am for coffee and doughnuts, and then march over to the parade site at Union Street and 37th Avenue. The parade will begin at approximately 11am.

February 5
Lunar New Year Parade & Festival in Manhattan’s Chinatown
Lower Manhattan’s parade is always a feast for the senses, highlighted by the pop of noisemakers, dancing, music and of course the amazingly choreographed red-and-gold dragon, which is the star of the show. But the parade is only part of the appeal; experiencing the energy of Chinatown, its blocks lined with vendors selling street food and Asian wares, is just as integral. Festivities begin at noon; the parade kicks off at 1pm.

February 5
Lunar New Year Festival: Year of the Rooster
The Met Fifth Avenue commemorates the Lunar New Year with family-friendly activities arund 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.

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.