Chinese Lunar New Year in New York City: 2017

Don't miss out on Lunar New Year festivities in NYC

••• Patricia A. Jordan

Although it is always in January or February, the Chinese New Year does not fall on the same date each year. This year Chinese New Year was on Monday, January 28, 2017. It is the Year of the Rooster. If you're curious about the various animals and the years they represent the 12 animals of the Chinese calendar are explained well here.

Firecracker Ceremony & Cultural Festival
Date: Saturday, January 28, 2017
Where: from 11 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. in Roosevelt Park (between Grand & Hester Streets)
The firecracker detonation, with expected attendance by local politicians and community leaders, is intended to ward off evil spirits. A large stage will feature all-day cultural performances by traditional and contemporary Asian-American singers and dancers. Plus, a dozen lion, dragon and unicorn dance troupes will march through Chinatown’s main streets, including Mott Street, the Bowery, East Broadway, Bayard Street, Elizabeth Street and Pell Street.

18th Annual Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade & Festival
The parade usually winds throughout Chinatown down Mott, along East Broadway, up Eldridge Street to Forsyth.
Time: Sunday, February 5, 2017 at 1 p.m.
Begins: Mott/Hester Streets
The spectacle features elaborate floats, marching bands, lion and dragon dances galore, Asian musicians, magicians, acrobats and procession by local organizations. Over 5,000 people are expected to march in the parade, which will start at Mott Street and promenade through practically every street in of Chinatown, finally dispersing at Broome/Forsyth. The parade is expected to conclude at 3 pm, at which time an outdoor cultural festival will take place in Sara D. Roosevelt Park featuring more performances by musicians, dancers, and martial artists.Froo

More: Lunar New Year Parades and Ceremonies in NYC

China Institute Lion Dance
China Institute, 100 Washington Street, 212-744-8181
When: Saturday, February 13, 2016 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Cost: FREE!
Greet the Year of the Monkey with a Lion Dance. This folk tradition is performed by acrobats and martial artists dressed in colorful costumes and accompanied by drums and gongs. There is also a kung fu performance. This event is very popular and only early arrival can guarantee a good view of the performance. The Lion Dance is held  outside the China Institute so prepare for cold weather.

China Institute Lunar New Year Programs For Families!
Where: China Institute, 125 East 65th Street, 212-744-8181
When: Saturday, February 13, 2016
Cost: $10 adult/$5 child member | $15 adult/$5 children non-member per workshop
The China Institute will hold dumpling making, calligraphy/couplet making, and paper cutting workshops to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

Lunar New Year Family Festival
Saturday, February 20, 2016; 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Where: MoCA - 215 Centre Street
Fee: $10/person
Lots of family-friendly activities, including walking tours, gallery tours, lion dances, readings and crafts.

China New Year Benefit
Where: Cipriani 42nd Street
When: Friday, February 5, 2016 ~ 6:30 p.m.
Cost: $7,000 for a reserved table of ten/$750 individual ticket
The Annual China Institute benefit includes a cocktail reception and a banquet style dinner, an awards ceremony, traditional entertainment, the Red Envelope collection and dancing.