Chinese and Korean religious interpretations of the New Year activities range from a reaffirmation of traditional culture to folk religion to deep cosmological meanings. So, you can decide how you interpret your participation in Chinese/Korean New Year!
500,000 firecrackers and dancing lions at the Chinese New Year celebration in Sara D. Roosevelt Park at Grand and Forsyth Streets, Jan. 31 at 11 a.m.
Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade and Festival, Feb. 2 at 1 p.m., Little Italy and Chinatown, ending in Sara Roosevelt Park.
Check out the family activities such as dance lessons, drum lessons and walking tours at the Museum of Chinese in America, Feb. 1 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., 215 Centre St.
Celebrate Sŏllal, the Korean New Year, with a day of fun-filled family activities at The Korea Society. Enjoy storytelling based on Korean folk tales and show respect for elders with sebae, the New Year’s bow. Play traditional games, such as yutnori and tuhonori, create masks and other crafts, and sample tasty Korean treats! Unforgettable memories await your family at The Korea Society. $35/family (up to five people). 950 Third Avenue
Buy red envelopes from a variety gift store in Chinatown and give a gift to younger relatives, unmarried relatives and your friends! Use crisp new bills if you have them! Don't give money in denominations of 4 ($4, $40, etc) as 4 in Chinese sounds like the Chinese word for death!
Grab some clementines, even better a clementine tree, from a Chinese vegetable store at 40 Hester St. The aroma, which is like jasmine, reminds you that there is hope that the next year will be good!
Go to a New Year's banquet in Chinatown. Red Egg will be serving a special banquet menu as well as showcasing lion dancers during dinner on New Year’s Eve, Jan. 30, and New Year's night, Jan. 31. $48/person. Amazing 66 is offering a New Year's menu with dried oysters with black seaweed, squash with a dried scallop center, and other tasty treats.
Dumpling houses will often offer dumplings in the shape of gold coins. Try Vanessa's Dumpling, 118 Eldridge St., Prosperity Dumpling, 46 Eldridge St., or Lam Zhou, 144 East Broadway.
You can also take an $85 class at Buddakan (5 Ninth Ave., 212-989-69, buddakannyc.com) where, on Feb. 8 at 1pm, the restaurant will have its chefs teach guests how to make tasty dumplings followed by an enormous brunch.
The Chinese-Malaysian chef Anita Lo's annual celebration offers dishes from her childhood in a "lucky" six-course tasting menu. ($105, reservations are required). Highlights include shrimp and garlic chive longevity noodles with shiitake mushrooms and eggs, plus Lo's signature foie gras soup dumplings. annisarestaurant.com
The New York Philharmonic is hosting a Chinese New Year gala on Feb. 1 at Avery Fisher Hall (10 Lincoln Center Plaza, 212-875-5030, lincolncenter.org). The event starts with a pre-concert reception at 6pm, and is followed by the main act at 7:30pm, which includes an all-Chinese orchestra playing pieces such as Xu Peidong/Zheng Nan or Flying Song of the Earth, and music by composer Tan Dun, who did the soundtracks for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Hero. Dinner follows the show, and guests are asked to dress in black tie or traditional Chinese attire. Tickets start at $1,500. To make reservations, go online to fill out the form.
On February 8th help Overseas Chinese Mission at 154 Hester Street to care for the homeless. Say hello Rev. Isaiah Tingson from A Journey! Register at: dontwalkby.org/volunteer
Or attend a Buddhist New Year's service at Pu Chao Buddhist Temple, 22 Eldridge Street. Tell the Master that A Journey through NYC religions sent you.