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Get Ready to Crow—It’s the Year of the Rooster

ZEALnyc, January 27, 2017

December 31st/January 1st is the day that a large percentage of the world celebrates the beginning of a new year. But for those of us in metropolitan urban areas hosting large enclaves of Chinese, we all look forward to the festivities of the Chinese New Year. In the Chinese calendar, this is The Year of the Rooster, and it officially begins on Saturday January 28, 2017 and continues until February 15th, 2018.  Here in New York City the central hub of the festivities is Chinatown, but many activities are planned throughout the city and outer boroughs to mark this annual holiday.

To kick off the festivities in New York City will be the annual Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival on Saturday, January 28th starting at 11:00am at the Sara D. Roosevelt Park (Grand Street and Chrystie Street). There will be hundreds of thousands of festive explosives flying through the air as a way to ward off bad spirits. There will also be lots of lion dancing, Chinese food, colorful performances, and much more.

On Sunday, January 29th there will be the Madison Street to Madison Avenue Lunar New Year Celebration (Madison Avenue from 54th Street to 77th Street). The celebrations kick off at 11:00am inside the Harman Store (527 Madison Avenue), with opening remarks from partners and special guests, followed by a range of spectacular cultural performances including the New York Eastern Chamber Orchestra Conducted by Fei Fang, FJ Music, juggler Lina Liu, a traditional Chinese marionettes puppet show from Chinese Theatre Works, and a Martial Art performance from American Tai Chi and Health Qigong Center. Just outside, on 54th Street between Madison and Park Avenues, families, neighbors and visitors can enjoy a range of fun kid-friendly activities inside heated tents including, Chinese face painting, calligraphy and a themed photo booth.

The other major event to celebrate the holiday will be the 18th Annual New York City Lunar New Year Parade and Festival on February 5 beginning at 1pm along East Broadway as well as Grand Street. There will be a wide variety of vendors, food, and festivities for all ages. The parade winds its way through the main streets of Chinatown.

Chinese New Year Parade

Chinese New Year Parade in Chinatown; courtesy of NYC Parks Department

Also of note is the Year of the Rooster Celebration at Brookfield Place (230 Vesey Street) on Saturday, February 11 starting at 1:30pm. There will be family-friendly performances that feature traditional Chinese dance and music, martial arts demos, theatrical players in full traditional makeup and regalia. There is also a special exhibit that will be on display from January 28 through February 26.

And if you’re looking for a more ‘classical’ experience, the New York Philharmonic will be presenting a special Chinese New Year Celebration on Tuesday, January 31 featuring Chinese influenced music, as well as authentic Chinese folk and art songs, all the way to the U.S. premiere of a trumpet concerto by a Chinese composer.

At the very least go visit your favorite Chinese restaurant and lift a chopstick to the New Year! For more information on various related activities click here.


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