Celebrating the Lunar New Year in Flushing, Queens
Time & Location
About The Event
Let's celebrate the start of the Chinese New Year and Lunar New Year in Flushing, one of NYC's most unique neighborhoods which has the city's largest pan-Asian community.
This tour is free with a voluntary donation to your organizer. Note: Flushing Town Hall has a suggested/voluntary admission so do bring cash - also if you are planning to eat out after the events.
Meeting place is outside the Flushing Library (restrooms inside if you need one). See below for the schedule of the day's activities.
January 25th is actually the first day of the New Year's celebration, which lasts several weeks. Lunar New Year, also known as the Chinese New Year, is a time for families and friends to get together. For many people who moved away from their hometown, it can also be a time to contemplate their relations with their roots. The time of the holiday also marks a turning point where the season returns from the bleakest and harshest winter days to a new period where lives are gradually brought back.
2020 is the Year of The Rat, the first of all zodiac animals. According to the Chinese zodiac story, in the competition held by the Jade Emperor to decide the zodiac animals, the quick-witted rat asked the diligent ox to take him on a ride to cross the river and jumped down before the ox crossed the finish line, so the rat won the race and became the first of the zodiac animals.
In Chinese culture, unlike Western culture, the rat is viewed quite positively as a symbol. They are recognized for their intelligence, and are exceptionally fertile — potentially having thousands of offspring during their lifespan. Both of these attributes were admired in ancient China. In addition, rats are considered adaptable, resouceful and quick-witted with a strong will to survive.
The 12 zodiac animals are, in order: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. A Rat year occurs every 12 years.
There are 4 parts to our day:
1) We'll start out by witnessing the annual parade, quite a festive one with dancers, music, floats and costumes.
2) If time permits we'll visit Flushing Town Hall to view “A Good Beginning, Here” a cross-cultural exhibition that illuminates 8 diaspora artists who can trace their roots back in China, Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. Their works embody unique life stories and ideas rooted in the East and evolved in the West.
3) We'll head over to the Botanical Gardens afterwards for a more intimate experience. There will be performances, crafts and other activities - also child and family friendly.
4) Optional meal at a local restaurant afterwards.