Chinatown NYC: Where to Celebrate the Year of the Tiger in New York

A specially designed Tiger head for the Year of the Tiger at Bo Law Kung Fu in New York Chinatown on February 5, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

2022 NYC Lunar New Year Events 
Source: Chinatown.org

Tuesday, February 1, 2022 is the first day of the Lunar New Year, celebrating the Year of the Tiger. The Lunar New Year is a fifteen day celebration. The actual date is determined by the Chinese lunar calendar and falls in late January or early February. The celebrations last for 15 days, although today, many families celebrate for five. Since the New Year’s festival traditionally marks the beginning of the planting season in China, a major character is a dragon, bringer of rain and good luck.

The traditional Chinese almanac (known in Cantonese as Tong Sing and Mandarin as Huang Li ) is a centuries-old repository of cultural information, from household tips to general medical remedies. But what has made it a mainstay in Chinese homes are its regular predictions of which periods are auspicious or ominous for a wide range of daily pursuits. Authors Joanna C. Lee and Ken Smith translate and decode the almanac’s predictions with daily listings for 2022, the Year of the Tiger.

This year’s almanac is extra special: the cover art is by none other than Kam Mak, the artist behind the previous 12-year run of Lunar New Year postage stamps, author and illustrator of My Chinatown among many other books, and former Pearl River artist-in-residence. Learn more about what the cover means. Click here to purchase.

Joanna C. Lee and Ken Smith. Photo by Lia Chang

Joanna C. Lee is a recovering pianist with a doctorate in musicology from Columbia University. An active translator and interpreter, she has served such luminaries as former US President Jimmy Carter, film directors Luc Besson and Peter Greenaway, and Hong Kong action star Jackie Chan.

Ken Smith writes about Asian arts and culture for the Financial Times and other publications. He is the author of Fate! Luck! Chance! …the Making of The Bonesetter’s Daughter Opera. He speaks Chinese fluently, in many different dialects.

The authors divide their time between Hong Kong and New York and have been artistic advisors to a wide array of cultural projects, including David Henry Hwang’s Broadway play Chinglish and Kung Fu, a musical based on the life of Bruce Lee for New York s Signature Theatre. They used the almanac to set their wedding date.

Happy new year, Chinese New Year, 2022, Year of the Tiger. Courtesy of http://www.betterchinatown.com

NEW YORK CHINESE CULTURAL CENTER
Jan 29 – New York Chinese Cultural Center (NYCCC) is a nonprofit cultural and educational institution dedicated to deepening the understanding and appreciation of Chinese culture through the arts in the global and local communities. They’ll be performing at various locations.

  • Skyview Mall – Flushing, Queens
  • Staten Island Children’s Museum
  • LIC Partnership at Court Square Park – Long Island City, Queens
  • Hudson Yards (additional performances on 2/5 & 2/12)

 

Lion dancers from the Chinatown Community Young Lions performed on the streets of New York Chinatown to bring good fortune and chase away evil spirits on February 1, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

BROOKLYN CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC LUNAR NEW YEAR CELEBRATION
Jan 29 – Join BKCM to celebrate the passing of a new lunar year with an afternoon of traditional and contemporary Chinese music, a performance of the lion dance, crafts, calligraphy and much more. Bring the family and enjoy a traditional Chinese celebration of the Year of the Tiger.

Roast pig, the altar and Lunar New Year decorations at Bo Law Kung Fu. Photo by Lia Chang

STATEN ISLAND CHILDREN’S MUSEUM LUNAR NEW YEAR CELEBRATION

Jan 29 – The New York Chinese Cultural Center presents a half-hour program at the Staten Island Children’s Museum in celebration of the Year of the Tiger. Performers demonstrate Kung Fu—including an interactive element—and perform Chinese folk dances, too.

Red and Gold good luck decorations for the Lunar New Year. Photo by Lia Chang

MET MUSEUM LUNAR NEW YEAR FESTIVAL
Jan 29 –  May art bring you good fortune. Celebrate the Year of the Tiger, one of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac, with virtual performances, interactive activities, and artist-led workshops for all ages.
CHINA INSTITUTE ONLINE FAMILY FESTIVAL
Jan 29 – Experience an interactive cartooning workshop, a New Year read-aloud storytime, and a creative lantern art exercise from 10AM to 12PM to welcome and celebrate The Year of the Tiger.
THE EMPEROR’S NIGHTINGALE
Through Sunday, January 30 – The Pan Asian Repertory Theatre celebrates the return to live theater and the celebration of the Lunar New Year with The Emperor’s Nightingale, a family-friendly stage adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s story “The Nightingale.” Set in 18th-century China, it brings to light the youthful exploits of the future Emperor Qianlong, incorporating traditional Chinese puppetry, folk songs, and calligraphy.

Written by Damon Chua and directed by Chongren Fan, the cast features DeAnna Choi as Nightingale, Jonathan Wong Frye as Prince Bao, Fenton Li as Emperor, Hyunmin Rhee as Prince Hongshi, Mandarin Wu as Minister Wu and Xiaoqing Zhang as Empress.

The limited return engagement that includes public and student matinee performances kicked off on January 15, and will conclude Sunday afternoon, January 30, 2022 at Theatre Row (410 West 42nd Street). Click here for tickets.

GUMIHO

Jan 30 – In celebration of Lunar New Year, Brave New World Rep will present a reading of Nina Ki’s new play, Gumiho starring Cleo Gray as Kam Greyson and Zo Tipp as 9 different characters, helmed by Ashley Thaxton-Stevenson on Zoom on Sunday, January 30 at 7:00 P.M. Lia Chang will read stage directions and Tai Thompson will serve as Production Stage Manager.

Gumiho is a two-person drama about the Asian lesbian “scene.” Kam, queer Korean adoptee and former reality TV star, has just been broken up with by her longtime girlfriend. She quickly re-immerses herself in the alcohol- and lust-fueled world of the Los Angeles queer scene, where she uses and is used by women, and has sex without the burden of intimacy. Though a series of casual hookups, Kam moves from enjoying these casual hookups to questioning her value as a person – and finally reaches rock bottom in the form of a moment of intimacy with the one person who has always loved and believed in her: her best friend, Hyun-Joo.

FREE with a $15 suggested donation. Click here to RSVP. The Zoom link will be sent with confirmation of reservation.

Lion and Dragon masks in Chinese New Year Parade, New York Chinatown, 2002. (Lia Chang)

LUNAR NEW YEAR FIRECRACKER FESTIVAL
Feb 1– 11am at Sara D. Roosevelt Park. This annual event begins the new year with a bang, setting off thousands of firecrackers to ward off evil spirits. Join Better Chinatown USA for the 24th New Year Firecracker Ceremony & Cultural Festival. Come out and celebrate the Year of the Tiger with music and dance, hundreds of thousands of firecrackers, and more!

Multimedia: Lia and Doualy Celebrate Year of the Tiger at the 24th New Year Firecracker Ceremony & Cultural Festival, Joe’s Shanghai and Yu and Me Books in New York Chinatown 

LUNAR NEW YEAR EXHIBITION – RECONCILE: BEGIN ANEW
Feb 1 to 16 – Curated by Chemin Hsiao and Stephanie S. Lee, “Reconcile: Begin Anew” at Flushing Town Hall presents artworks by eight Asian American immigrant artists who live and work in New York.

Photo courtesy of Brookfield Place

LUNAR NEW YEAR CELEBRATION AT BROOKFIELD PLACE
Feb 3 to 5 – Ring in the Year of the Tiger at Brookfield Place with a multi-day celebration that includes a live ice carving, kids crafts, and more. Performances by New York Chinese Cultural Center to celebrate the holiday.

Baby Lion heads and Noisemakers, New York, 2002. (Lia Chang)

LUNAR NEW YEAR FAMILY FESTIVAL: YEAR OF THE TIGER
Feb 4 to 11 – Usher in the Year of the Tiger with over a week of free virtual festivities for the whole family, hosted by the Museum of Chinese in America.

 

Photo by Lia Chang

BROOKLYN CHILDREN’S MUSEUM LUNAR NEW YEAR FESTIVAL
Feb 5 – Join Brooklyn Children’s Museum as they usher in the Year of the Tiger. Learn about the festival and traditions of Lunar New Year through storytelling, live music, plus a calligraphy workshop and a rooftop lion puppet parade led by the Chinatown Community Young Lions.

Lion dancers from the Chinatown Community Young Lions performed on the streets of New York Chinatown to bring good fortune and chase away evil spirits on February 1, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

QUEENS BOTANICAL GARDEN LUNAR NEW YEAR’S CELEBRATION
Feb 5, 2022 – The Queens Botanical Garden welcomes children for a Lunar New Year-themed day with activities including take-home craft kits, a community art project, Zodiac animal story time, and lion dance performances.

Multimedia: Inside the Year of the Tiger Celebration with Sifu Paul Koh and Bo Law Kung Fu

CHINATOWN LION DANCES
Feb 5, 2022 – Welcome to Chinatown and New York Chinese FreeMasons Athletic Club have partnered up to bring free lion dances to Manhattan Chinatown from noon to 1pm starting at Golden Diner, then to Kopitiam and Dreamers.

LUNAR NEW YEAR CHINESE DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL

Feb 5 to 6, 2022

  • Multi-award winning film, Curtain Up! follows elementary school kids in New York’s Chinatown as they prepare for the musical production of “Frozen” and begin to discover their identities.
  • Please Remember Me is a tender portrait of an emblematic couple, living alone without the traditional support of extended family.
  • No-Contact Delivery – NYC’s 50,000 delivery cyclists are largely non-English speaking immigrants with demanding and isolating workloads.

NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC: LUNAR NEW YEAR CONCERT
Feb 8 – Celebrate the Lunar New Year — and welcome the Year of the Tiger — with the New York Philharmonic at Alice Tully Hall on Tuesday, February 8 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $89-$159. Click here to purchase tickets.

Violinist Stella Chen joins the Orchestra in Bizet’s Carmen Fantasie and Ma Sicong’s Nostalgia, and Hera Hyesang sings songs by Dvořák, Cho Doo-nam, and Lim Geung-soo. Earl Lee conducts audience favorites by Berlioz and Dukas, as well as Li Huanzhi’s Spring Festival Overture. Click here for the program lineup.

Enhance your experience by attending the entire Gala evening, including a pre-concert reception and a post-concert seated dinner with the artists. The Gala is a fundraising event for the New York Philharmonic. To purchase Gala tables or tickets, please contact specialevents@nyphil.org.

Feb. 8: New York Philharmonic Lunar New Year Concert to Feature Conductor Earl Lee, Violinist Stella Chen, and Vocalist Hera Hyesang

The DNC AAPI Caucus is hosting a virtual Lunar New Year celebration on Thursday, Feb. 10, at 7pm ET / 4pm PT to welcome the Year of the Tiger. The event is hosted in partnership with NextShark, a leading AAPI-focused media company and produced by Enfranchisement, and will be hosted and co-streamed on the DNC YouTube channel and NextShark’s Facebook page.

The celebration will feature special appearances from Vice President Kamala Harris, DNC Chair Jaime Harrison, DNC Deputy Executive Director Roger Lau, DNC Vice Chair Sen. Tammy Duckworth, DNC AAPI Caucus Chair Bel Leong-Hong, Rep. Judy Chu, Rep. Grace Meng, Rep. Andy Kim, Rep. Ted Lieu, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, Actor (Emcee) Lilan Bowden, Award-winning Playwright and Screenwriter David Henry Hwang, Journalist Lisa Ling,  Actor and Activist Daniel Dae Kim, Composer and Lyricist Timothy Huang, BD Wong, Philippa Soo, Ali Ewoldt, Raymond J. Lee and more.

CHINATOWN LION DANCES
Feb 11 – Welcome to Chinatown and New York Chinese FreeMasons Athletic Club have partnered up to bring free lion dances to Manhattan Chinatown from 6 to 7pm, starting at Jing Fong then to Pasteur and Uncle Lou

Lion dancers from the Chinatown Community Young Lions performed on the streets of New York Chinatown to bring good fortune and chase away evil spirits on February 1, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

SUPER SATURDAY LION DANCE PERFORMANCES
Feb 12 – Begins 12pm throughout Manhattan Chinatown, lion and dragon dance troupes will move through the neighborhood to show off their moves and ward off evil spirits and bring joy to onlookers. Just listen for the drums to know you’re nearby a performance.

Dragon dancers at New Year Firecracker Ceremony & Cultural Festival held in Sara D. Roosevelt Park in New York Chinatown on February 1, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

MANHATTAN LUNAR NEW YEAR PARADE
Feb 20 – Begins 1pm, start of route at Canal & Mott Streets and ends at Grand & Forsyth Streets (please check with organizer for final parade route)

Peking Opera Performer, New York Chinatown, 2002. (Lia Chang)

Mattel Unveils Barbie Lunar New Year™ Doll Designed By Guo Pei 

Lia Chang

Lia Chang loves to tell stories – as an actor, a multi-media content producer, a performing arts photographer and an award-winning filmmaker. A co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, Lia makes films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, and The Last Dragon. She stars in and is the Executive Producer for the indie films Hide and Seek (AA Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Best Actress Nomination), Rom-Com Gone Wrong, and When the World Was Young (2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative). Lia made her stage debut as Liat in a national tour of South Pacific with Barbara Eden and Robert Goulet, was featured as Joy in Signature Theatre’s revival of Sam Shepard’s Chicago and has worked extensively Off-Broadway. Photo archives: Lia Chang Theater Portfolio collection,1989-2011, housed in the AAPI collection in the Library of Congress’ Asian Reading Room; Lia Chang Photography Collection in The Billy Rose Theatre Division of the New York Public Library. Awards: 2000 OCA Chinese American Journalist Award, the 2001 AAJA National Award for New Media. Lia is an AAJA Executive Leadership Graduate (2000), a Western Knight Fellow at USC’s Annenberg College of Communications for Specialized Journalism on Entertainment Journalism in the Digital Age (2000), a National Press Photographers Association Visual Edge/Visual Journalism Fellow at the Poynter Institute for New Media (2001), a Scripps Howard New Media Fellow at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism (2002), and a National Tropical Garden Environmental Journalism Fellow (2003). www.liachang.com, www.liachangphotography.com

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2022 Lia Chang Multimedia, unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com 

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