Get us in your inbox

Search
15th annual Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade & Festival, Chinese New Year
Photograph: Filip Wolak

The best things to do for Lunar New Year (a.k.a. Chinese New Year)

Ring in the Year of the Tiger with these fun and colorful cultural events in NYC

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Shaye Weaver
Advertising

Lunar New Year (or Chinese New Year) is here to lift us up with new beginnings, beautiful art and delicious food. The celebration includes bursting firecrackers, lion dances and delicious cuisine, including at Chinatown's Firecracker Ceremony Chinese New Year Parade, which are some of the best events in February. Don't miss filling your belly with amazing cuisine from one of the best Chinese restaurants in NYC either!

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Lunar New Year in NYC

Things to do for Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year Celebration at Bank Of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
Photograph: courtesy of Bryant Park

Lunar New Year Celebration at Bank Of America Winter Village at Bryant Park

Ring in the Year of the Tiger with a Chinese lantern display in Bryant Park, up through Sunday, as well as an exciting lion dance performed by the New York Chinese Cultural Center on Sunday. This traditional dance is performed to bring good fortune and prosperity to viewers of all ages. The dance will begin at the Northwest corner of the Rink Deck. Guests can also make a wish at the wishing tree station from 2-4pm.

Advertising

The Brooklyn Conservatory of Music is celebrating with an outdoor Lunar New Year celebration for the whole family on Saturday (3-5pm). The afternoon will include traditional and contemporary Chinese music, a lion dance, crafts, calligraphy and much more. The vibrant celebration will weave together presentations and activities curated by local cultural organizations and partners, including Brooklyn Lion Club, Tea Arts & Culture, Children's Chinese Book Garden and Chinese Theatre Works. Guests will enjoy a performance by BKCM faculty member Annie Chen, a vocalist, composer and bandleader originally from Beijing, China, as well as storytime in Cantonese with Michelle Huang and in Mandarin with Babyda’s Mandarin Story Time host Yijia Bu. RSVP at bkcm.org. The event is free but donations are encouraged.

Enjoy a special Lunar New Year menu of noodles, bao, kimbap, dessert and bubble tea from Very Fresh Noodles and Pearl River Mart Foods’ featured vendors: Mao’s Bao, Kimbap Lab, Tea & Milk, and Kitsby on Saturday, February 5. Reserve your own heated outdoor booth for a comfortable viewing spot for a show-stopping performance by renowned lion dance troupe, the Wan Chi Ming Hung Gar Institute Dragon and Lion Dance Team. Choose from one of two seatings (11am and 3pm) for $200 for a meal for four (spots are limited). Tickets are required to enjoy this annual celebration and can be purchased via Eventbrite.

Advertising

Sit in for a free film festival celebrating Lunar New Year on Saturday, February 5 and Sunday, February 6, with three films, each 60 to 90 minutes in length: Curtain Up! (February 5 at 1pm) follows elementary school kids in New York’s Chinatown as they prepare for the musical production of Frozen; Ride with Delivery Workers (February 6 at 1pm) explores the heavy toll of the coronavirus pandemic on New York City’s immigrant delivery workers, who experienced financial and mental health struggles, racist attacks, and robberies; and Please Remember Me (February 6 at 2:30pm) is a tender portrait of an emblematic couple, living alone without the traditional support of extended family. With intimacy and perceptivity, director Zhao Qing follows Feng and Lou, her great-uncle and great-aunt, over three years as Feng adjusts to Lou's increasing dependency and works to remedy her loss of memory.

Lychee Martinis and $1 Dumplings at The Crown
Photograph: courtesy The Crown

Lychee Martinis and $1 Dumplings at The Crown

Starting January 31 through February 15, The Crown will be offering specials to celebrate including Lychee martinis, $1 dumplings (shaped like ingots that represent wealth and good fortune), longevity noodles (the symbol of long life and prosperity) and spring Rolls (representing gold bars and symbolizing wealth). Any order of the above comes with a “lucky red envelope”, which includes gold chocolate coins and a drink ticket to Daphne, Gerber Group’s new club within Hotel 50 Bowery opening soon.

Advertising

The Macy and Ricky Comedy Show is hosting a Lunar New Year comedy show featuring Asian American comedians from all over the world including Alyce Chan, Mic Nguyen, Ron Josol, Misha Han, Christine Kim, Lee Lan, Ricky Sim Esq. and Macy Kwok. The show is taking place at 12 St. Marks Place (between Second and Third Avenues) on February 4 at 8pm. Tickets are $20!

  • Things to do
  • Festivals

Chinatown’s annual Lunar (Chinese) New Year Parade is back with dragon dancing, stunning outfits, martial art performers and more to celebrate on Sunday, February 20, 2022. The parade kicks off at 1pm and the party lasts until 4:30pm across the neighborhood!

Advertising

Gong Cha will distribute traditional Chinese red envelopes (known as hóngbāo) to guests with the purchase of any three beverages. The envelopes symbolize prosperity and good luck in Chinese and other East Asian cultures and are a customary gift during Lunar New Year. Select envelopes will contain surprise offers such as a free topping, drink discounts, and even a chance to win Free Gong cha for a Year. The limited-time promotion will run from January 30 through February 1.

Looking for some grub?

  • Restaurants

New York has a long lineage of Chinese restaurants showcasing the culinary traditions of nearly every province in China, as well as the fusion fare created by immigrants in the United States. Whether you're looking to sample fiery Szechuan fare or experience a classic weekend dim sum brunch, the city has got you covered. From white-clothed Midtown restaurants to hole-in-the-wall Chinatown restaurants, find the best Chinese restaurant NYC has to offer. RECOMMENDED: See all of the best restaurants in NYC

Advertising
  • Restaurants

No need to stick to one borough—the best dumplings in NYC can be eaten throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. Head downtown to get your soup dumpling fix at one of the best Chinatown restaurants in the city. Exploring new neighborhoods? Take the train to Sunset Park for some of the best dim sum outside Hong Kong. And if you're really on a budget, there are plenty of options for cheap dumplings along the way. RECOMMENDED: Find more of the best restaurants in NYC

  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries

New Yorks Chinatown is packed with amazing dim sum restaurants, fun-loving karaoke bars and top-notch Chinese bakeries offering a dizzying array of pastries. Most are known for one exceptional item, however, whether thats a buttery egg tart, a fluffy sponge cake or a lotus-filled hopia. It doesnt get much sweeter than this. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to best restaurants in NYC

Recommended
    You may also like
      Advertising