A Guide to Welcoming in the Year of the Dragon

The annual parade returns Sunday, Jan. 29; there are lots of other interesting events to celebrate the Year of the Dragon between now and then. 2011 file photo by Stephen Spera

The Year of the Dragon officially begins on Monday, Jan. 23, and the Chinese Lunar New Year celebration begins this weekend around Chinatown and the Lower East Side. We’ve collected a list of local events below; if we missed any, send us a heads-up at tips@thelodownny.com. In the meantime, Christina of Chinatown has a to-do list of preparations; they include “get a haircut.”

Saturday, Jan. 21/Sunday Jan. 22:
The Museum of Chinese in  America (MoCA) on Centre Street hosts a series of walking tours highlighting preparations for the big holiday. See their website for times and details; additional tours are available on Saturday, Jan. 28. Also on Jan. 21, a guide to decoding the Chinese Almanac presentation takes place at MoCA from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Sunday Jan. 22:
MoCA puts on a Lunar New Year Festival Family Day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., featuring workshops on traditional Chinese dance, calligraphy and language.

Monday, Jan. 23:
From 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., the annual firecracker ceremony to ward off evil spirits, as well as cultural and artistic performances, takes place in Sara D. Roosevelt Park. There will also be cultural performances and a small parade on surrounding blocks.

MoCA invites children and families to create their own puppets at at drop-in arts and crafts event from 2 to 4 p.m. Free with museum admission.

Tuesday, Jan. 24:
Chef Eddie Huang makes a guest appearance at LTO on East Broadway, serving a three-course, family-style meal of Taiwanese dishes in his second annual “Baohaus Chinese New Year Dinner.” (Last year’s was in Brooklyn.) Eater has the details and the full menu. If you’re looking for other ideas for culinary indulgences, Gothamist has a list of suggestions as well.

Sunday, Jan. 29:
The 13th annual traditional, festive parade takes to the streets, beginning at Canal and Mott streets at 11:30 a.m. and winding through Chinatown to conclude around 3 p.m., when additional performances will be held on Bayard Street.