Ushering in the Year of the Ox on January 26, 2009, Manhattan will celebrate with lion dances, a parade and a variety of artistic displays of Chinese culture. The extensive, artistic celebrations befit Manhattan Chinatown’s status as the largest Chinese community in North America.
Chinese New Year, or Lunar New Year, is the culmination of a spiritual journey in which the Chinese assess their previous year’s condition and prepare for a new year. They undertake extensive housecleaning to clear out the old and make way for the new. Meals eaten at Chinese New Year celebrations are laden with symbolism. The foods eaten each represent a blessing such as abundance or prosperity. The timing of the Chinese New Year is dependent on the appearance of the new moon.
These are some of the major celebrations in Manhattan to greet the Chinese New Year 2009, Year of the Ox:
Lion Dance Competition
See Lion Dancers compete for recognition at Columbus Park from noon to 3 pm. Tickets range from $10-50 and can be purchased from BLT Merchandise at 77 Mulberry St., 212-732-8388.
Museum of Chinese in America‘s Lunar New Year Paper Cutting
MOCA in conjunction with teacher I Ting and the New York City Parks Dept. features a free paper cutting workshop on January 24 from 2:230-4:30 pm at the Columbus Park Pavilion at Mulberry St. Decorate your home for the Chinese New Year as the Chinese Americans do- with detailed papercuts of the Chinese zodiac animals.
Better Chinatown Society’s New Year’s Day Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival
January 26, 2009 is the date of the New Year’s Day Firecracker Ceremony to be held at noon at the soccer field at Forsyth and Canal Sts.
The Cultural Festival starts at 11:30 am at Grant and Chrystie Sts. and runs through 2:30 pm.
Chinese New Year Parade– Chinatown
Chinatown’s Chinese New Year parade is perhaps the best known and most cherished New York Lunar New Year celebration. The parade steps off from Mott and Hester and winds its way through Chinatown. This year’s Chinese New Year parade is scheduled for February 1, beginning at 1 pm.
Lunar New Year Arts Festival
Columbia University’s Lion Dancers will join artists, musicians and children’s book illustrator Kam Mak to celebrate Chinese artistry on January 18 from noon to 5 pm at 172 Lafayette St. Sponsored by MOCA and the Children’s Museum of Arts, the Lunar New Year Arts Festival also includes a musical instruments workshop. The cost is $10 per person.
Chinese New Year Concert
881 7th Ave.
Manhattan, NY 10019
Monday, January 26, 2009, 8 pm
FCCNY-Manhattan Kids Connect Family Breakfast
Dana Discovery Center (upstairs)
110th and Lenox
Sunday, January 25, 2009,10:30-12:30pm
This Chinese New Year breakfast is for parents and kids ages 1-7. “Mentors” ages 8 and up may attend for free. It promises traditional foods, music, crafts, toys, and games as well as a breakfast of bagels, fruit, yoghurt, juice and coffee.
Questions? Contact Jennifer Maslowski at email@example.com or 917-509-2861.
Chinese New Year Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall
In what has become a Manhattan tradition, New Tang Dynasty TV will greet the Chinese New Year, Year of the Ox, by performing its spectacular classical music and dance performances that bring centuries of Chinese artistry to live. Breathtaking costumes and backdrops add visual delight to a performance brimming with tantalizing sound and movement.
Radio City Music Hall
1260 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10020
Shows are on January 24, 2009 at 4 and 8 pm and January 25, 2009 at 1 and 5 pm. Seat prices range from $48 to $128.
Chinese New Year Spectacular Website
Soul of Shaolin on Broadway
Soul of Shaolin is the first ever Chinese production featured on Broadway. It tells the story of a boy raised by Shaolin Temple monks to become a master of martial arts. Recommend for ages 9 and up, the performances run from January 13-31at the Marquis Theatre, 1535 Broadway and 46th St. Ticket prices range from $50-95 and are available from Ticketmaster.
Chinatown Walking Tours
This year’s Chinatown walking tours, introducing the unique customs of the Chinese American community in prerparing for the Chinese New Year, take place on January 17, 24 and 31 from 1-2:30 pm. Tickets cost $12-15 and are available through MOCA, 212-619-4785.
Lion Mask Making Workshop
Learn about the lion dance tradition while making a lion mask with your child at the China Institute in America Lion Mask Making workshop. Walk away with your own masks to wear to the Chinese New Year parade and other festivities. This workshop is for children ages 5-10 and their parents and costs $40 for one child and adult, $15 per additional person. The address for the China Institute in America is listed below with the information for its Lion Dance.
Dumpling Making Workshop
Learn to make good luck dumplings at one of the China Institute in America’s chicken, pork and vegetarian dumpling making workshop February 1 from 1-2:30 or 3-4:30. The cost is $40 for one adult and child, $15 for each additional person. See the entry for the Lion Dance at China Institute in America for the address.
Lion Dance at China Institute in America
According to the China Institute in America, the Lion dance dates back 2,000 years. Its purpose is to drive away evil and invite good luck and prosperity. The Chinese Institute in America will host a lion dance on February 1, 2009 from 11am-noon.
China Institute in America
125 East 65th Street, New York, NY 10065
Chinese New Year Closing Celebration
The closing celebration featuring lion dancing through Chinatown will take place from noon – 5pm on February 8, 2009.
5th Annual Lantern Festival
The 5th Annual Chinese Lantern Festival, the last chance Chinese New Year activity for the year, will take place February 9 on Market between East Broadway and Henry at 1 pm. The Lantern Festival is a free Chinese New Year activity sponsored by United Fujianese of America Association.
Sources: http://calendar.northjersey.com/manhattan-ny/events/show/85152941-chinese-new-year-concert-2009; http://events.skyteam.com/sisp/index.htm?fx=event&event_id=147260; http://www.betterchinatown.com/firecracker.html; http://www.explorechinatown.com/;http://www.chinatown-online.com/year/year.shtml.