The big Chinese New Year Parade in Chinatown has historically been held the following Sunday after the first Sunday of the New Year. It's a little confusing, I know. Nobody really announced this or put this fact out there either. The only reason I know this is because my shop has to get its red envelopes ready for the lion dancers.
At one point, when the Explore Chinatown campaign was launched, they had two New Year's parades. One on the New Year's Day and one the following Sunday. Sorta, like one for the tourists, and one for the locals.
Different associations have their groups of lion dancers and the dance to the beat of the drum up and down the streets. They also usually end the parade by setting up a martial arts stage where they do some praying mantus style martial arts. Very cool to watch. I usually get the best seat because they set up on Bayard street.
So if you missed the festivities this year, hopefully you'll join in and know for next year.
Have a happy year of the rat!