“Gung hay fat choy!” Roughly translated, this traditional new year’s greeting means “congratulations, and may you have a prosperous new year,” according to USA Today. The Chinese New Year begins on Thursday, Feb.19. What follows are our picks for the best way to celebrate. By Jessica Allen.
To ring in the new year, the Better Chinatown Society will light 500,000 firecrackers. The annual ceremony (2015 is #16) also wards off evil spirits, ensuring that the new year begins on a wonderful note for all. Traditional dancers and craftspeople will be on hand, as will food vendors. Many folks believe that the amount of dumplings you eat correlates to the amount of money you’ll earn the rest of the year. So go hungry. Thursday, February 19, 11 am, free.
Inspired by childhood trips through Asia as well as family recipes, executive chef Angie Mar will be cooking up a feast at the Beatrice Inn. Among the delicacies on offer will be whole-roasted five-spice Peking-style pig (carved tableside), pan-roasted black bass with smoked loquat, salted cherry blossoms, and fermented black beans, and smoked wild-boar congee with crispy pig ears. One night only! Thursday, February 19, reservations suggested.
Benefiting Apex for Youth, which serves underprivileged young people in New York City, and hosted by Xi’an Famous Foods, the Lunar New Year Festival features music from MC Jin, the Shanghai Restoration Project, Wanting Qu, and others. In addition to Xi’an, you can get snacks (most priced between $1 and $4) from such veritable vendors as Fatty Crab, Nom Wah Tea Parlor, Pok Pok Ny. Saturday, February 21, 6 to 11 pm, $50, tickets required, must be 18 or older.
Bring the whole family to the Chinese New Year celebration at the China Institute. You can tour the galleries, learn how to make dumplings, watch a traditional lion dance, attend a kung fu performance, and make your own lanterns. Founded in 1926, the institute “advances a deeper understanding of China through programs in education, culture, business, and art in the belief that cross-cultural understanding strengthens our global community.” Sunday, February 22, 11 am to 3 pm, see schedule for details, $10.
The 16th annual Lunar New Year Celebration and Parade welcomes the Year of the Goat this weekend. One of the biggest lunar new year celebrations around, this super-popular event features floats, traditional lion and dragon dances, costumes, food, and crowds. Find a spot along the route: it begins at Canal and Mott, then heads to Chatham Square, turns down East Broadway, and moseys along Eldridge to Grand at Forsyth. Sunday, February 22, 1 pm, free.