Chinatown Preps For Lunar New Year Celebration (and School Holiday) Feb. 8

Lunar New Year Parade 2015 in Manhattan's Chinatown. Photo by Tim Schreier.

Lunar New Year Parade 2015 in Manhattan’s Chinatown. Photo by Tim Schreier.

Are you ready for the Year of the Monkey? In Chinatown, excitement is building for Lunar New Year celebrations, which kick off Feb. 8.

For the first time this year, the Chinese New Year is an official holiday in the New York City public schools. Mayor de Blasio finally agreed to establish the holiday this past summer after years of advocacy. You can read more about that in a story posted today on the website of NBC News.

The 17th annual Lunar New Year Parade takes place Sunday, Feb. 14 at 1 p.m. The parade starts at Mott Street and Canal streets, before heading to Chatham Square. It then heads down East Broadway before winding up at Eldridge and Forsyth streets in Sara D. Roosevelt Park.  On Feb. 8 at 11 a.m., it’s the Lunar New Year Firecracker Festival. You can find more information about both events here.