A Low-Key Celebration of Lunar New Year in Chinatown

lion dance Mott Street lunar new year

The Year of the Ox was ushered in on Friday, but as to be expected, the Lunar New Year celebration in Chinatown was scaled back this year due to Covid.  The huge parade that normally winds through the streets of Chinatown has been tentatively rescheduled until the spring. A small program did take place Friday at Confucius Plaza and lion dance troupes made their way up and down Mott Street on Friday and Saturday.

Businesses, of course, can use your support more than ever. This is an important time of the year for restaurants and other small businesses in Chinatown. Foot traffic was down sharply last year, even before the first cases of Covid surfaced in New York City. After almost a solid year of the pandemic, many mom-and-pop shops have closed are are barely hanging on. Restaurant owners were hoping for a boost Fromm the return of indoor dining with 25% capacity.

Several local groups and institutions are hosting in-person and virtual Lunar New Year events:

–Send Chinatown Love has a Lunar New Year Crawl throughout the month of February.

–For the kids, the Museum of Chinese in America is hosting noodle puller Peter Looi in a virtual event on Tuesday; he’ll be demonstrating the art of pulling long life noodles.

Think! Chinatown! is offering several virtual storytelling events, including artist Spica Wobbe in an inventive pop-up art workshop; you’ll learn how to make your own “Tuan Yuan” greeting card to send to loved ones this Lunar New Year.

Still need some ideas? Check out Welcome to Chinatown’s Lunar New Year shopping and eating guide.