Chinese New Year is Feb. 18th. People born in the year of the pig are viewed as being good to their friends and family. They are honest but often naive. They also achieve a great deal of success both socially and financially. Good matches for them are people born in the year of the rabbit or the ram.
Chinatown is at its livliest this time of the year. People from all over the country come to check out our events and foods during the lunar new year.
Our new year festivities include the parades that feature the traditional lion dances & martial arts. This is our biggest attraction. I must have seen every parade & I have never been disappointed. It just seems like the parades grow bigger and bigger every year! This year it will be held on February 25th from 1:00-5:00.
The Museum of the Chinese in the Americas (MOCA) will also be having a flower market in Columbus Park on February 16th and 17th. In our culture, flowers are symbolic of good luck, fortune and prosperity. The flower market will also have interactive artist booths. This is definitely a great event to go to with children, family members, and/or friends. (Columbus Park is located on Mulberrry Street; between Bayard Street and Worth Street.)
On Lunar New Year's Day, Chinatown will be having the Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival. It will be held at Chatham Square (Between Bowery, Mott, & East Broadway) on Sunday February 18th from 11:00am-3:00 pm. Best of all, admission is free and you'll have a blast!
Later that night, we will be having our Illuminations: Lunar New Year Fireworks Spectacular. It will be at Columbus Park and this will also be free.
And don't forget that a huge part of Chinese New Year is eating! Chinatown has great eateries and it's the perfect time to celebrate. Food is one of the most important things in our culture. I've been asked where's a good place to eat for the holiday and quite honestly, I tend to eat at the same places that I always eat. My family, friends and I just order different things. We celebrate by ordering the more expensive dishes like lobster, abalone, and sharkfin soup. These are just some of the exotic dishes that are offered.
And if you really want to end the day with a bang, stop by for ice cream. Although I'm around ice cream all day, I'm still always craving some! Don't forget to say "hi" to me and wish me a happy new year!