Gung hay fat choy! Where to celebrate the Chinese New Year in NYC

Ring in the new lunar year with firecrackers, dancing and tasty eats, from traditional delicacies to new riffs on Peking duck

14th Annual Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade & Festival, 2013

14th Annual Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade & Festival, 2013 Photograph: Filip Wolak

With the Year of the Horse beginning this Friday, January 31, there are tons of ways to ring in the Chinese New Year in NYC and experience the city's vibrant global culture. Whether you're celebrating a centuries-long tradition or joining the red-colored fun for the first time, take part in the festivities for an auspicious year.

RECOMMENDED: Find more in the Chinese New Year guide

For starters, you can see 500,000 firecrackers light up in the Lower East Side's Sara D. Roosevelt Park on the first day of the New Year  (Jan 31 at 11am) at the 15th New Year Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival. The pyrotechnics are said to scare off evil spirits, and there will also be vendors hawking crafts and dumplings. Legend goes that the more you eat, the more moneyed your New Year will be, so it's really in your best interest to show up.

On Sunday, don't miss Chinatown's biggest annual event, the Lunar New Year Parade & Festival, which kicks off at Mott and Hester Streets at 1pm. In addition to the colorful procession, expect food vendors, floats and lots of confetti. Just be sure to bundle up!

If it's a less, uh, traditional affair you seek, party animals will be ringing in the New Year with DJs Nickodemus and Sabo at the Turntables on the Hudson's Lunar New Year bash. Join them in dancing the night away for just $10.

If you prefer to eat your way through the Chinese (and Korean and Vietnamese) New Year, you might begin by reading our crash course in the traditional foods of the season with the cast of Broadway's Chinglish. When you're ready to dig in, consult our roundup of Nouveau Chinese restaurants and the best dim sum brunches in NYC. And if it's Peking duck you crave, choose from a slew of local eateries making new dishes—tacos, barbecue, composed plates and more—with the iconic fowl.

Lastly, for a comprehensive guide to Chinatown in NYC, our definitive guide to Gotham's Chinese food and culture—covering noodles, pastries, dumpling soups and plenty more—ought to do the trick. Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments, and happy celebrating!

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Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)

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