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Family Life in New York City – Family Days: Celebrate the Chinese New Year!

Posted Tuesday, January 27th, 2009 at 8:15 am by Stephanie in Cultural Bees. More in 10007

chinese new year

Happy new year! I apologize for the long delay in posting. With winter always comes an unnecessarily long winter cold. But I plan on taking a break from drinking cranberry-apple tea (my new fave) and sipping Robitussin to enjoy some of the Chinese New Year festivities going on in the city as well as the outer boroughs this week.

I know, I know. Why should you celebrate the Chinese New Year if you’re not, well, Chinese? I’m not either, but I love engrossing myself in other cultures and learning about their history. I studied journalism and history in college so this is part of my inner history nerd, or that’s what I always tell my boyfriend as he pretends to listen. The Big Picture, which is one of my favorite blogs, did a great round-up of pictures detailing Chinese New Year celebrations around the world. (My favorite photo is of the woman in full make-up and smoking a cigarette).

happy new year

My friend Chris reminded me it’s the year of the ox, signifying dependability, modesty, calmness, and many other attributes. Here’s how you can celebrate:

Stop by the Museum of Chinese in America. Partake in storytelling (and songs!) this Thursday or a guided walk of Chinatown this Saturday. Sure you can walk around Chinatown yourself, but we all know you usually just end up a fast food place on Canal Street or that Duane Reader on Bowery.

Check out Soul of Shaolin, the first Chinese production to appear on Broadway. It involves martial arts (the boys will love it) and elaborate costumes and dancing (the girls will love it). This is the last week of performances; tickets start at $50.

Visit the Asia Society in the UES next Saturday for a day of crafts and performances. Perform in a traditional lion dance, watch a puppet show, or create a paper lantern. I admit, even at 25 I still love paper lanterns.

Journey to Flushing’s Town Hall next Saturday for an all-day event of food and dance. I know Flushing isn’t the most convenient location to get to, but it’s one of the most vibrant neighborhoods in Queens and there are plenty of cheap eats for the whole family.

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