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Chinese New Year in NYC: Celebrate the Year of the Pig at parades, feasts and more

It's a swine of the times. Feb. 5 officially kicks off the Chinese Lunar New Year, and a ton of fun events are celebrating it.

It's said that those born in the year of the pig (1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019) are realistic, energetic, enthusiastic and a little materialistic.

They may think it's their lucky year, but it's quite the opposite. It's actually a concern that inspires some to protect themselves from bad fortune, according to chinesenewyear2019.com.

Aside from that, it's the beginning of a new year, heralding fresh relationships, opportunities and chapters in our lives. And since the city has the largest Chinese population of any city outside of Asia, there's no shortage of parties, events and restaurant specials.

So head to these cultural centers, restaurants and festivals to ring in the New Year.

The Year of the Pig at Macy's (Jan. 31)

Macy's will host a live lion dance performance
Photo Credit: iStock

Macy's will host a live lion dance performance on Jan. 31, which will kick off an afternoon of interactive experiences and the chance to get a commemorative piggy bank with a $50 purchase. Macy's will also have Lunar New Year-themed windows through Feb. 5 (Free, 1 to 3 p.m., 151 W. 34th St.)

Nai-Ni Chen Dance Co., Brooklyn (Jan. 27-29)

The Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts is
Photo Credit: Carol Rosegg

The Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts is hosting dancers and acrobats from the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company for a show celebrating the Year of the Pig. Expect vibrant costumes, traditional dances and live music by the Chinese Music Ensemble of New York. ($25, 3 p.m., Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts, 2900 Campus Rd., Flatbush, nainichen.org)

Try Van Leeuwen's Lunar New Year ice cream (Jan. 19-Feb. 9)

East Village Taiwanese-American restaurant 886 has teamed up
Photo Credit: 886

East Village Taiwanese-American restaurant 886 has teamed up with artisanal ice cream maker Van Leeuwen to come up with an exclusive Lunar New Year ice cream sandwich. The flavor is inspired by pineapple cake, which is a sweet, traditional Taiwanese pastry eaten during celebrations. The ice cream sandwich is made with caramelized pineapple jam, which is placed between layers of buttery miso shortbread and folded into a classic sweet cream base with vanilla extract and vanilla bean caviar. The treat will be served at 886 between a fried bun with spicy honey and candied bacon from Jan. 19 through Feb. 9 for $11. Van Leeuwen East Village will serve pints and scoops from Jan. 16 through Feb. 6.

Free lion dances, sugar painting and lantern-making (Feb. 2)

Head to the Shops at Columbus Circle on
Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto/Gargolas

Head to the Shops at Columbus Circle on Feb. 2 for a day of free lion dances by The New York Chinese Cultural Center (at 1, 2 and 3 p.m.), sugar painting and lantern-making demonstrations and workshops from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Visitors that spend $88 or more and share their receipt with the Guest Services desk will get a free branded red notebook that could have a gift card ranging from $10 to $1,000. (10 Columbus Circle, theshopsatcolumbuscircle.com)

Community art project, Queens (Saturdays through Feb. 2)

The Queens Botanical Garden is seeking collaborators for
Photo Credit: Jess Brey

The Queens Botanical Garden is seeking collaborators for sculptures to celebrate the Year of the Pig, which will be displayed in the garden for its celebration on Feb. 9 and for the remainder of February. The materials used include papier mache and paint. (Free, noon to 1 p.m., 40-50 Main St., Flushing,  queensbotanical.org)

Firecracker ceremony, Manhattan (Feb. 5)

The Better Chinatown Society is ringing in the
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Kena Betancur

The Better Chinatown Society is ringing in the new year with its free annual firecracker ceremony, said to ward off evil spirits and unfriendliness. The festival also features traditional food and dance performances. (11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Sara D. Roosevelt Park, East Houston and Chrystie streets, betterchinatown.com)

Flushing Town Hall, Queens (Jan. 5-Feb. 17 )

Flushing Town Hall has a slew of Lunar
Photo Credit: Flushing Town Hall

Flushing Town Hall has a slew of Lunar New Year events in January and February:

NYC Shadow Puppet Slam (Jan. 5): Chinese Theater Works' Kuang-Yu Fong and Stephen Kaplin curate an evening of short works of shadow theater, animation, video and film, from the traditional to the cutting edge. ($14, 7:30 p.m.)

The Red Envelope Show (Jan. 5-27): The exhibit features paintings done on traditional red celebration envelopes, which will be on sale. Many of them include a special gift. ($5 suggested donation, noon to 5 p.m. on weekends) There is also a free drop-in workshop to create your own red envelope artwork on Jan. 13, from 1 to 3 p.m.

"Four Seasons" (Jan. 12): Chinese Theatre Works performs classical and traditional Chinese poetry, music, dance, opera and puppetry with a contemporary twist. ($14, Free for teens, 2 p.m.)

Chinese New Year Temple Bazaar (Feb. 17): See live performances, make art and lanterns and enjoy delicious food at this celebration of the Year of the Pig. There are two timed sessions you can attend after the Dragon parade at the Flushing Library at 9:30 a.m. ($5, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.)

New York Philharmonic's Lunar New Year concert (Feb. 6)

This year's Lunar New Year program is promised
Photo Credit: Kyutai Shim

This year's Lunar New Year program is promised to be a "fiery" one. The audience will hear a new violin concerto written by Oscar winner Tan Dun, "Fire Ritual," which was inspired by Chinese royal music. Other songs include "Arirang," Stravinsky's "The Firebird" suite, Mozart's "The Magic Flute" and more. Word has it there could be musicians in the audience during this celebration. The concert features Violinist Bomsori Kim, pictured, soprano So Young Park and conductor Kahchun Wong. ($35-$110, 7:30 p.m., David Geffen Hall, 10 Lincoln Center, nyphil.org)

Himalayan New Year, Manhattan (Feb. 6)

Celebrate Losar, the Himalayan New Year, with an
Photo Credit: rubinmuseum.org

Celebrate Losar, the Himalayan New Year, with an afternoon of art, music and traditional food. Tour the galleries and explore your future through crafts and other activities. (Free, 6:30 p.m., Rubin Museum, rubinmuseum.org)

Brookfield Place, Manhattan (Feb. 9)

Watch a performance of Chinese dance and music,
Photo Credit: The New York Chinese Cultural Center

Watch a performance of Chinese dance and music, including the lion dance, and a martial arts demonstration at Brookfield Place, hosted in part by the New York Chinese Cultural Center. (Free, 2 to 3:15 p.m., 230 Vesey St., brookfieldplaceny.com)

Met Museum, Manhattan (Feb. 9)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art will feature dozens
Photo Credit: Scott Rudd

The Metropolitan Museum of Art will feature dozens of programs to celebrate Lunar New Year, including a colorful parade through the Museum's Great Hall. ($25 suggested admission, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., 1000 Fifth Ave., metmuseum.org)

Flushing Lunar New Year Parade (Feb. 9)

The Queens parade's reception begins at St. George's
Photo Credit: Getty Images

The Queens parade's reception begins at St. George's Church with hot coffee and doughnuts at 9:30 a.m. and proceeds down its route starting at 11 a.m. During the reception, Epic 88 perform a K-pop medley, followed by K-pop Zumba. The Queens Fencing Club also performs. (Free, 135-32 38th Ave., Flushing, eventbrite.com)

Chinese New Year Spectacular V, Manhattan (Feb. 15)

Celebrate with a night at Carnegie Hall with
Photo Credit: Jill Nelson

Celebrate with a night at Carnegie Hall with a beautiful program celebrating Chinese culture and the new year with songs like He Zhanhao/Chen Gang's "Butterfly Lovers," "A Hundred Birds Paying Respect to the Phoenix" by Jianzhong Wang, "I Love you, China" by Zheng Qiufeng and more. Performers include pianist Jie Chen (upper left); soprano Quan Chen (lower left); tenor Dr. William Weimin Cai (upper right); and violinist Deni Bonet (lower right). ($28 to $88, 7:30 p.m., Carnegie Hall, 881 Seventh Ave., carnegiehall.org)

Abrons Arts Center Lunar New Year celebration (Feb. 16)

Celebrate the Year of the Pig with Abrons
Photo Credit: Jia Sung

Celebrate the Year of the Pig with Abrons Arts Center, Wing on Wo's W.O.W Project and Yellow Jackets Collective, which will host a evening of live performances, art activities, karaoke, DJ sets and food from local restaurants. (Free, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Abrons Arts Center, 466 Grand St., abronsartscenter.org)

Lunar New Year parade, Manhattan (Feb. 17)

Celebrate the Year of the Pig with Manhattan
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Julian Ungano

Celebrate the Year of the Pig with Manhattan Chinatown's annual Lunar New Year parade. Expect performances and traditional costumes at the parade, followed by a street festival featuring food vendors. (1 p.m., Sara D. Roosevelt Park, Grand and Chrystie streets, betterchinatown.com)

Take advantage of these restaurant specials

Buddakan (Chelsea): As Luen Hing Lion Dancers and
Photo Credit: Tang Hotpot

Buddakan (Chelsea): As Luen Hing Lion Dancers and DJ Timka perform on Sunday, Feb. 10, enjoy a traditional tea service, tray-passed dim sum and red envelopes for good luck (noon to 2:30 p.m.). Reservations recommended.

Chinese Tuxedo (Chinatown, Manhattan): The Lion Dance Troupe will perform throughout the evening here on Feb. 5 and for $88 per person, there will be a special eight-course banquet dinner that includes dishes like pomme fondant, duck "long life" noodles, "the lucky pig" sui yuk and more.

Brooklyn Chop House (Financial District): Head to this FiDi favorite for a festive dumpling trio ($18) on Feb. 5: pastrami, bacon cheeseburger and French onion soup all topped with edible golden flakes.

DaDong (Bryant Park, midtown): This upscale Chinese eatery will serve three special family-style menus for four to eight guests on Feb. 4 and 5. Choose from delicacies like squid ink soup, Songshu crispy fish, crab and pork meatballs and a SuBuNi roast duck among other dishes. A red envelope is given to each table with a prize inside, which could be a free champagne bottle or dessert. Prices range from $598 to $1,188 depending on the family-style menu you choose.

MáLà Project (East Village, midtown): For 15 days, Feb. 5-19, this Michelin Bib Gourmand-recommended Chinese restaurant will celebrate by offering something new each day at the East Village location (New Year pork dumplings, blooming manto, squid, red bean rice ball and more) and a special drink, the Chinese New Year cocktail made with half-and-half, vodka, simple syrup, yuzu and cherry liquor, at the midtown location.

Little Alley (Murray Hill): It's all about festive Shanghainese dishes at Little Alley between Jan. 31 and Feb. 10. Try the cheese-baked lobster, the Dungeness crab with salted duck egg, the Little Alley braised pig trotter or the sweet and sour pork with pineapple.

Tang Hotpot (Bowery): This authentic Sichuan hotpot hotspot is offering a New Year prix-fixe (pictured) on Feb. 4-5 for $65 per person. The deal includes an appetizer like garlic pork wrapped okra, all the fixings for your hotpot, including prime ribeye, lamb shoulder, pork collar and more, seafood like sea bass and tiger prawn, veggies, an entree (Zhangcha tea-smoked duck), dessert and a beer or glass of wine.

Atlas Kitchen (Upper West Side): New to the neighborhood, Atlas Kitchen is going all out for New Year's with artist Qiu Anxiong, whose artwork is the inspiration for the entire restaurant. The menu Feb. 5-21 will include creative dishes like coral lobster with salted duck egg, two peppers with braised goose intestine, foie gras udon and grilled quail with cumin.

Hunan Slurp (East Village): This rice- and noodlecentric eatery is putting together a festive menu of dishes like lamb and turnip in a clay pot, blue crab with ginger, and scallion and wok-fried lamb slices with chili pepper among others.

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