Lunar New Year 2023 in New York, sometimes called Chinese New Year, is an important spring festival celebrated across East and SouthEast Asia. It is the big family festival in the Asian world with family gatherings, house cleanings, gift-giving and firecrackers to scare away evil spirits.
Today Lunar New Year is one of the great human migrations because everyone who can travels home to visit family for at least a week or two. The American equivalent is Thanksgiving, the main family holiday.
The celebration begins on the new moon between January 21 and February 20. Though it is celebrated during what we now consider winter, Lunar New Year is a spring festival. In some parts of the world, birds start their mating rituals in February because it is early spring.
We light firecrackers to scare away evil spirits, but many of the traditions are similar to other New Year celebrations around the world.
Lunar New Year 2023, Year of the Rabbit
The Year of the Rabbit begins Sunday, January 22, 2023.
In East Asian culture, the Rabbit is a symbol of mercy, elegance and beauty. People born in the Year of the Rabbit tend to be kind and gentle. This year is a Water Rabbit for which gentleness is a core characteristic.
Things To Do in NYC for Lunar New Year 2023
The Lunar New Year Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival 2023 is a firecracker lighting ceremony with Chinese dance, culture, and food; at Sara D. Roosevelt Park in the Lower East Side / Manhattan Chinatown; on Sunday, January 22, 2023 from 11am – 3:30pm. FREE! 🇨🇳🇰🇭🇰🇷🇰🇵🇯🇵🇲🇳🇵🇭🇸🇬🇹🇼🇹🇭🇺🇸
New York’s Chinese Theatre Works “Hao Bang-ah, Rabbit!” is Budaixi-style glove puppetry telling bilingual stories of Lunar New Year, the Year of the Rabbit, and other Chinese zodiac traditions. It’s at Flushing Town Hall in Flushing, Queens; on Sunday, January 29, 2023. Performances at 1pm & 3pm. Workshops at 1:45pm & 3:45pm. Performance $15. Performance and workshop $22. 🇨🇳
The Lunar New Year 2023 Photo Exhibition This is Home, features work about New York City by some great New York photographers: Janice Chung (Korean), Cindy Trinh (Vietnamese), and An Rong Xu (Taiwanese). The exhibition opens with a reception at Flushing Town Hall in Flushing, Queens; on Saturday, January 21, 2023 from 12-2pm. It ends February 26. FREE! 🇰🇷🇹🇼🇻🇳
Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company celebrates Lunar New Year 2023 Year of the Water Rabbit; with dancers, acrobats, and musicians at Hostos Center Main Theater in Mott Haven, The Bronx; on Saturday, January 28, 2023 at 3pm. $12.
The 25th Lunar New Year Parade NYC 2023 has dragons dancing through Manhattan Chinatown to the Lower East Side on Sunday, February 12, 2023 at 1pm. FREE! 🇨🇳🇰🇭🇰🇷🇰🇵🇯🇵🇲🇳🇵🇭🇸🇬🇹🇼🇹🇭🇺🇸
Lunar New Year 2022, Year of the Tiger
Tuesday, February 1, 2022 ~ The new Year of the Tiger begins.
The 24th Lunar New Year Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival is at Sara D. Roosevelt Park in Manhattan Chinatown from 11am – 3:30pm. FREE. 🇨🇳🇰🇭🇰🇷🇰🇵🇯🇵🇲🇳🇵🇭🇸🇬🇹🇭🇺🇸
Lunar New Year 2021, the Year of the Ox
Friday, February 12, 2021 ~ People will celebrate at home, but we don’t expect there to be public events this year.
There is a Lion’s Troupe dance and confetti display outdoors at American Legion Kimlau Memorial Square in Manhattan Chinatown from 11:30am to 1pm. betterchinatown.com
Lunar New Year 2020, the Year of the Rat
Saturday, January 25, 2020 ~ The 21st Chinese New Year Firecracker Ceremony & Cultural Festival is at Sara D. Roosevelt Park in Chinatown, NYC from 11am to 3:30pm. FREE
Please be safe and sane. This cultural ceremony is done with the guidance of the FDNY. It is produced by the Asian American Arts Alliance.
Many Chinese New Yorkers are Sixth Generation American Families
Americans of Chinese descent helped build our country. New York’s Chinese communities have been American families for over six generations. The founding families of Manhattan Chinatown came to New York City to escape an outburst of violent racism after Chinese immigrants finished building the Transcontinental Railroad through the mountains of California.
Racism in general and racism against Asians is unjust and just plain wrong. We are better than this! Let’s support Chinese New Year in New York’s nine Chinatowns.