The Chinese Lunar New Year begins Monday, Feb. 8. Help usher in the Year of the Monkey by watching fireworks, checking out a contemporary art exhibit, and/or dining on delicacies. What follows are our picks for the best way to celebrate in New York City. By Jessica Allen.
The Gruccis know their way around fireworks. Now in its sixth generation, Fireworks by Grucci have lit up the night sky in celebration of some of the world’s biggest holidays in some very impressive destinations. To celebrate the Year of the Monkey, they’ll be bringing their pyrotechnic talents to the Hudson River, illuminating designs by the China Central Academy of Fine Arts. Accompanying the show will be music by Tan Dun (a simulcast, not live). You’ll be able to see the display along the river in Midtown and in New Jersey. Saturday, Feb. 6, 8:30 p.m., free.
Presented by the China Central Academy of Fine Arts, the most prestigious art academy in the country, Fantastic Art China features new and established artists from China and the United States working in such media as interactive digital, photography, paintings, and sculpture. The exhibit is open daily from Saturday, Feb. 6, through Wednesday, Feb. 10, but on Monday there will be special programs for students, including monkey dance lessons from the National Dance Institute. Monday, Feb. 8, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., free.
Celebrate the Year of the Monkey in style at La Chine, inside the luxurious Waldorf Astoria. The restaurant’s special menu offers such delicacies as sesame rice dumplings, BBQ Buddhist duck, Dong Bo pork belly, and a raw fish salad, symbolizing good fortune and prosperity. Everyone will receive a special red envelope at the end of the meal, with a chance to win a special prize such as dessert or a free drink. Monday, Feb. 8, through Saturday, Feb. 13, reservations suggested.
Last year, Executive Chef Angie Mar celebrated the Chinese New Year at the Beatrice Inn with a feast of food inspired by childhood trips through Asia. This year, she turns to her mother’s past for inspiration, tweaking and perfecting the Taiwanese street food her mom grew up eating. Among the goodies on offer will be lamb belly bao buns, scallion and salted shrimp pancakes, shrimp and lamb dumplings, and, by special order, suckling pig. One night only! Monday, Feb. 8, reservations suggested.
Conducted by Long Yu, the New York Philharmonic’s fifth annual Chinese New Year Concert and Gala will include the New York premiere of Nu Shu: The Secret Songs of Women, for harp and orchestra, by Tan Dun. Violinist Maxim Vengerov will also be on hand, playing the Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto. Be sure to get there early to see students from local public schools performing before the concert, and consider springing for the post-concert gala, which gives you a chance to mingle with the musicians. Tuesday, Feb. 9, 7:30pm, tickets start at $35.