Lunar New Year Dragon Parade in Chinatown
“Gung hay fat choy!” These wishes for a happy lunar new year will be heard all around as Lower Manhattan’s Chinatown prepares to usher in the Year of the Dog, lunar year 4704. In the largest Chinatown in the country, activity is mounting as the annual Chinese Lunar New Year Festival approaches.
The two-week festival will feature a vast array of celebrations and highlights, including a dog parade, firecracker ceremonies, and an extensive flower market. In addition, special New Year’s menus showcasing traditional holiday foods will be offered at most restaurants throughout the neighborhood. Lunar New Year’s Day falls on January 29 this year, but events stretch from January 27 on through February 12. Take the opportunity to celebrate often!
Lunar New Year Flower Market
January 27, 3 p.m. - 10 p.m.
January 28, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Sara D. Roosevelt Park at Grand & Chrystie Streets
Kick off 4704 with the Third Annual New York Lunar New Year Flower Market. A unique twist on an old tradition, this year’s market merges art and culture. Families can enjoy performances and artist demonstrations throughout the two-day event held in a heated tent in Columbus Park. Also relish the sights and smells of orange and plum blossoms, narcissus, chrysanthemums, and other auspicious flowers.
3rd Annual Chinatown Lunar New Year Flower Market
January 27, 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.
January 28, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Columbus Park (Mulberry Street between Bayard and Worth Streets)
Visitors can participate in this time-honored tradition with the Museum of Chinese in the Americas (MoCA) and the United East Athletics Association’s (UEAA) Third Annual Chinatown Lunar New Year Flower Market. In Chinese communities around the world, going to the market to purchase flowers is a popular way of ushering in the Lunar New Year because flowers bring luck and prosperity in the New Year. Particular flowers such as the peony, peach blossom, kumquat tree, camellia, and narcissus are favored for their auspicious symbolic meanings.
Preparing for the New Year: Walking Tour
January 28, February 4 - 5
1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Begins @ MoCA
70 Mulberry Street, 2nd floor
$15/person, $10/student and senior, $8/member, free/children under 5; advance registration required. Space is limited.
Witness how Chinatown transforms itself in preparation for the New Year. Learn about the traditions and customs observed by Chinese households and discover the significance of red envelopes, foods and decorations. Enjoy the sights, smells, sounds, and tastes of Chinatown in the most festive tour of the year.
|A dog dressed in a traditional Lunar New Year outfit.
Gung Hay Fat Choy
1 - 4 p.m.
South Street Seaport Museum
213 Water Street
Free with admission ($8, $6, $4)
Welcome in the Lunar New Year of the Dog. Come down for an afternoon of dance, play, Chinese tales, and crafts.
Chinatown Lunar New Year Firecracker Ceremonies
Mott and Bayard Streets, 12 p.m.
Market Street and East Broadway, 2 p.m.
Organized by the Better Chinatown Society, the customary tradition of a firecracker detonation will take place on the actual day of the Lunar New Year to ward off evil spirits for the coming year. Local politicians and community leaders are expected to attend. Following the ceremonies, a main stage (at the intersection of Mott and Bayard Streets) will feature all-day cultural performances by traditional and contemporary Asian-American singers and dancers. In addition, a dozen lion, dragon, and unicorn dance troupes will perform along Chinatown’s main streets, including Mott Street, the Bowery, East Broadway, Bayard Street, Elizabeth Street, and Pell Street.
7th Annual Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade & Festival
1 - 5 p.m.
Canal Street South
The parade usually winds throughout Chinatown along Mott, Canal, and Bayard streets, and along East Broadway.
The spectacle features elaborate floats, marching bands, lion and dragon dances galore, Asian musicians, magicians, acrobats, and procession by local organizations. Over 350,000 spectators and marchers are expected at the parade, which will start at Mott Street and promenade through practically every street in of Chinatown, finally ending at Worth Street. A special dog parade in honor of the 2006 Year of the Dog will feature between 50 and 100 dogs from local animal rescue organization that will be available for adoption. Several hundred dogs from local organizations will be marching in the parade, and for those wanting to dress their dogs in traditional garb, outfits are for sale at the Pearl of the Orient gift shop located at 36 Mott Street. The parade is expected to conclude at 3 p.m., at which time an outdoor cultural festival will take place on Bayard Street featuring more performances by musicians, dancers, and martial artists. This event is organized by the Better Chinatown Society.
|The Lunar New Year festivities includes celebrations for people of all ages.
Dragon Parade marking the end of Chinese Lunar New Year Celebrations
10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Starting at the corner of Bayard and Mulberry Streets and continuing throughout Chinatown
To mark the end of the Chinese Lunar New Year Celebrations, the Dragon Parade will return to Chinatown. Approximately 10 - 15 dragon troupes will participate in these festivities.
Lunar New Year feasts and special offerings in Chinatown:
A & B Lobster King House
1 Mott Street
February 8 -12
A&B Lobster King House will feature a special selection of “Poon Choy,” which, according to legend, was served to a king who had fled to Hong Kong. The Hong Kongnese welcomed the king with a feast but did not have enough plates to serve the food so they layered the food in a large bowl with the most absorbent foods at the bottom (i.e. turnip, tofu), and the most flavorful items on top (i.e. meat, seafood). The idea behind this method which later became known as “Poon Choy” is that the layer of food at the bottom would absorb the flavors and juices from the layer above it. The Golden Poon Choy is priced at $50 per person. Vegetarian Poon Choy is $18 per person.
Golden Unicorn Restaurant
18 East Broadway
February 6 - March 6
Golden Unicorn will offer a wide variety of special Lunar New Year dishes such as braised 16-headed abalone ($38.80) and baked pork Peking style in nest with fried bean curd ($13.80), as well as many banquet choices. The Wealthy Banquet Package, priced at $298 for ten people including a complimentary bottle of wine, features a 12-course set menu with deep fried Buddha’s delight roll, stir-fried lobster with ginger and scallion, and sautéed chicken and calamari with vegetables.
A special dinner menu for the Lunar New Year is also available at $28 per person (includes tax & gratuity), with options ranging from a two-person to a ten-person dinner. Menu items include the shredded duck with rainbow vegetable; Peking roasted duck; and the fried grouper cubes with corn sauce.
Oriental Garden Restaurant
14 Elizabeth Street
February 1 - March 1
Oriental Garden will offer four special banquet menus ranging in price from $298-498 for 10 people. The $298 Special Banquet Menu features dishes such as a chilled jellyfish combination, braised dried scallop and oyster with black moss seaweed, dried scallop in lettuce wrap, and stir-fried lobster with ginger and scallion.
Peking Duck House
28 Mott Street
February 7 – 8
The Peking Duck House is offering a special Lunar New Year Menu, including appetizers, choice of two soups, entrees, and desserts (2 person minimum). The menu features steamed vegetable buns; fried scallops; fish roll with mushroom and ham; Peking duck; assorted fried rice; and green tea ice cream. The special menu also comes with a complimentary drink and is priced at $48 per person.
20 Mott Street
Special set menus for parties of two, four, six, and eight will be available at $25 per person, not including tax or gratuities. The set menu for six persons features roast Peking duck, orange flavored prawn with broccoli, and pan-fried Chilean sea bass.
The restaurant is also offering a $268 and $338 Special Banquet Menu, which features dishes such as the sautéed sliced chicken and cuttlefish with vegetables, braised fish maw in superior soup, and stir fried lobster with golden garlic.
Other restaurants offering special Lunar New Year menus include:
5 Mott Street
A kosher vegetarian restaurant
9 Chatham Square
11 Division Street
16 Mott Street
Jing Fong Restaurant
20 Elizabeth Street
Mr. Tang’s Restaurant
50 Mott Street
Oriental Pearl Restaurant
103 Mott Street
22 Mott Street
14 A Elizabeth Street
The Nice Restaurant
35 East Broadway