The Year of the Monkey on the Chinese calendar begins today, Monday, February 8th.
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.
In celebration of the Lunar New Year, Chinese communities around the world and across the U.S. will wish their families and friends a happy and prosperous Year of the Monkey. Did you know that one in every six people in the world celebrates the holiday?
In New York, there will be many ways to observe the holiday. There will be a number of special events conducted during the holiday period, which begins Today.
If Clay Aiken is home in New York, here are some special things he could do!
Today at 11 a.m. the Better Chinatown USA organization will host a cultural festival in Manhattan’s Sara D. Roosevelt Park. It will feature food vendors and performances by dragon dancers, magicians and musicians, among others. The firecracker ceremony, a traditional event meant to ward off evil spirits while welcoming in the new year, will start at noon. They expect to light 600,000 firecrackers to welcome the Year of the Monkey and ward off evil spirits. The festival will finish at 3 p.m.
The Lunar New Year Parade will be held Feb. 14, in Manhattan’s Chinatown district. 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.
Beginning at 1 p.m., the parade will get going at Canal and Mott streets and end at Sara D. Roosevelt Park.
Whatever you do today, if you are in New York, wear lots of layers, a hat, gloves, and a scarf. There is a 70% chance of 2 to 4 inches of snow. YIKES!!!
So…Mr. Aiken…We would love it if you periscoped as you celebrate The Year of The Monkey.
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.”