Chinese New Year is the main Chinese festival of the year. It is a time when families get together to celebrate. It is also a special time to remember members of the family who have died. In the days coming up to New Year, every family buys presents, decorations, food, new clothes and people have their hair cut. Houses are cleaned from top to bottom. The aim is to sweep out any bad luck from the old year and clear the way for good luck. However, it is bad luck to clean on New Years Day itself.
One in every six people in the world celebrates Chinese New Year. Customs vary in different parts of the world but everywhere the main idea is to remember family and wish everyone peace and prosperity in the coming year.
According to TimeOut New York, there are lots of ways to celebrate Chinese New Year in New York City. So…Clay Aiken…enjoy the day and evening. Here are a few things to do!
Do you want to have some good Chinese food and help some underprivileged NYC youth? Visit Xi’an Famous Foods. This Chinese chain is hosting a food-filled Lunar New Year bash at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. The event will benefit Apex for Youth and their programs that support NYC youth. Besides live performances, the event will feature $1 to $4 snacks from Xi’an (spicy seitan salad, lamb burgers), Fatty Crab (lemongrass chicken with coconut rice), Otafuku (takoyaki balls) and Yonekichi (tsukune chicken, rice burgers). Now that’s an unusual way to celebrate the New Year!
Join the Children’s Museum of the Arts and New York’s Chinese community with a celebration of the Lunar New Year. Titled Around The World with CMA, this festival gives attendees a chance to explore Chinese arts and culture. A variety of visual experiences include a performance of Tiger Tales, a shadow-puppet show by the Chinese Theater Works, and a special performance of the Chinese Lion Dancers of P.S. 124! All ages are welcome!
The Chinese New Year Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival is a critics choice at TimeOut. They say:
Unfriendly ghosts should steer clear of Sara D. Roosevelt Park on the first day of the New Year, when the Better Chinatown Society lights 600,000 firecrackers to welcome the Year of the Sheep and ward off evil spirits. In addition to the pyrotechnics, there will be lion dances and decorations giveaways, plus craft vendors and food booths where you can get your fill of traditional delicacies. It’s said that the more dumplings you eat at the celebration, the more money you’ll make in the year ahead. Grand St at Forsyth St.
Ring in the Year of the Sheep at the 16th Annual Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade & Festival. You can expect crowds, food vendors, traditional lion and dragon dances, costumes, floats and multicolored confetti that you’ll be picking from your hair days later. While you’re in the neighborhood, be sure to eat some wonderful New Year foods, like noodles for longevity and a whole fish for abundance. Begins at Canal St at Mott St.
Whatever you do today, if you are in New York, wear lots of layers, a hat, gloves, and a scarf. The high temperature for the day is supposed to be 24 degrees. YIKES!!!
So…Mr. Aiken…Will you take a “selfie” as you celebrate the day and share it on twitter?
If you do, the world will shine a bit brighter with lots of smiles!
And most of all have fun!
“Gung Hay Fat Choy.”
Translation: “Best wishes and Congratulations. Have a prosperous and good year.”