6 Fun Ways to Celebrate Chinese New Year in NYC

  • 01 of 07

    Introduction to Chinese New Year in NYC

    Bryan Thomas / Getty Images

    Chinese New Year marks the most important and festive holiday for the Chinese. And in New York City, with its sizable population of residents of Chinese descent, you can bet that Lunar New Year festivities are in full effect. In 2016, the official kickoff to Chinese New Year's "year of the monkey" is February 8, with plenty of special events surrounding the big day. Here are 6 pick for the best ways to celebrate Chinese New Year in Manhattan.

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  • 02 of 07

    Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade & Festival

    Bryan Thomas / Getty Images

    When: February 14, 2016, at 1pm
    Where: The parade route runs from Mott & Canal sts. to Grand St. (next to Sara D. Roosevelt Park)

    Come see this colorful celebration erupt in Little Italy and Chinatown, complete with floats, traditional lion and dragon dancers, marching bands, and more, in the 17th edition of the Chinese Lunar New Year Parade & Festival, as presented by the Better Chinatown Society. Free; betterchinatown.com  

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  • 03 of 07

    New Year Firecracker Ceremony & Cultural Festival

    Spencer Platt / Getty Images

    When: February 8, 2016, at 11am
    Where Sara D. Roosevelt Park, Grand St., btwn Chrystie & Forsyth sts.

    The firecracker ceremony – an act that's believed to ward off evil spirits – is a time-honored tradition to kick off the first day of Lunar New Year. The ceremony is followed up by a lively Chinese cultural festival, complete with traditional and contemporary Asian-American music and dance. Free; betterchinatown.com

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  • 04 of 07

    Year of the Monkey Celebration

    CAFA – China Central Academy of Fine Arts

    When: February 6–10, 2015, 10am–6pm

    Where: Javits Center North, 655 W. 34th St., btwn 11th & 12th aves.

    Presented by the China Central Academy of Fine Arts, this five-day-long "Year of the Monkey Celebration" is headquartered at the Javits Center.  Held in celebration of the Lunar New Year, swing by to check out numerous events and activities showcasing Chinese arts and culture, including a special day for students on February 8, and the "Fantastic Art China" exhibition featuring contemporary Chinese art. Free; www.nyclunarnewyear.org

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  • 05 of 07

    Chinese New Year Concerts at Lincoln Center & Carnegie Hall

    Fantastic Art China

    The New York Philharmonic’s 5th Annual Chinese New Year Concert will be held at Lincoln Center on February 9. Nab tickets to see several acts, including the New York premiere of Nu Shu: The Secret Songs of Women, a symphony featuring harp and film projections. A festive gala includes a pre-concert reception and a post-concert dinner with the artists. Concert tickets from $35/person; nyphil.org.

    Or, pop into Carnegie Hall on February 10 to catch the Chinese New Year Spectacular concert, featuring world-renowned pianist and Steinway Artist, Jiaxin Tian, and esteemed conductor Gregory Singer with his orchestra, the Manhattan Symphonie. Tickets from $14/person; www.carnegiehall.org.

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  • 06 of 07

    Chinese New Year Fireworks Dinner Cruise

    Circle Line Cruises

    On February 6, look to the Hudson River for a Chinese New Year fireworks display set to the music of Oscar and Grammy Award winner Tan Dun. The best way to see it? From the river itself! Circle Line Cruises is offering its first ever ‘Chinese New Year Fireworks Dinner Cruise' that evening, featuring a 12-course gourmet Chinese dinner buffet. Tickets from $140/person; www.circleline42.com.

    Or, try  the Spirit of New York (from $108/person) or Bateaux New York (from $145/person) dining cruises, which will also offer prime viewing for the celebratory fireworks that evening (though note there won't be any special Chinese menus on board).   

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  • 07 of 07

    Chinese New Year Feasts

    Mandarin Oriental, New York

    Who doesn't love Chinese food?! Several Manhattan restaurants are whipping up special Chinese feasts to commemorate the New Year. A few worth seeking out in Midtown include Hakkasan New York, which will be celebrating Chinese New Year with an eight-course menu featuring a mix of traditional Cantonese dishes; the restaurant will also invite guests to celebrate traditional Chinese New Year traditions by placing wish ribbons on a “Wishing Tree” (bonus: dine here on February 9th for a special 'Lion Dance’ performance). At the Waldorf Astoria New York, La Chine is offering a celebratory Chinese New Year menu highlighting authentic, provincial-style cuisine, like half BBQ Buddhist duck and sesame rice dumplings. Or, head to the Mandarin Oriental, New York, at Columbus Circle, where their Lobby Lounge serves up signature Spring Festival Bento, with shrimp and chicken potstickers, Peking Duck spring rolls, and sweet sesame rice balls. It's also a great spot for a special 'Chinese New Year Afternoon Tea' featuring an assortment of teas, traditional tea sandwiches, and Asian-inspired sweets.

    Or, try the West Village's Chomp Chomp where Chef Simpson Wong has whipped up an authentic Singaporean Lunar New Year seven-course feast, featuring 'lucky foods' like "longevity fish" and "prosperity pork" (plus, diners get a complimentary lotto ticket!). Meanwhile, at Thailand/Malaysia/Singapore eatery Laut in Union Square, sample Yusheng, a raw fish salad dish served only during Lunar New Year, along with complimentary 'longevity noodles.'