Lunar New Year 2022 in NYC’s Chinatown

On Tuesday there was the Lunar New Year 2022 and the year of the water tiger started. I took the bus down to NYC’s Chinatown to watch the celebrations. Attending them had been on my bucket list for years [even last week I wasn’t sure I would see them this year], but for some reason I never made it – until this year.

janavar - Lunar New Year 2022 in NYC's Chinatown
janavar - Lunar New Year 2022 in NYC's Chinatown

The main Lunar New Year celebration in Chinatown took place in the Sara D. Roosevelt Park. Like many other people I watched a company set up firecrackers, a dragon walk through the crowd, a little 7-year-old boy sing a piece of Peking opera, … Two presenters from the Chinese community lead through the show and alternated between presenting in English and in Chinese. Political representatives, including mayor Adams, gave short speeches. I enjoyed the positive atmosphere. Everybody was eager to start the new year and hope for better times. (Chinatown was hit hard by the pandemic.)

janavar - Lunar New Year 2022 in NYC's Chinatown
janavar - Lunar New Year 2022 in NYC's Chinatown

Eventually, the celebration culminated in a lion dance and then the firecrackers were lighted. I found that impressive, esp. considering that it was the middle of the day. Still, they were well visible and burned for quite a while. Afterwards, dance group started dancing in the square, while the crowd popped big confetti cannons.

janavar - Lunar New Year 2022 in NYC's Chinatown
janavar - Lunar New Year 2022 in NYC's Chinatown

I decided to walk more to the center of Chinatown. While many stores were closed on that day, shops selling confetti cannons and decorations were open and widely popular. I purchased a sign with a tiger wishing a happy new year and a little tiger figure with bells as well as sparklers and bang snaps. That was not because I wanted to use them on that day, but I never know where to buy them for our New Year’s Eve in December.

janavar - Lunar New Year 2022 in NYC's Chinatown
janavar - Lunar New Year 2022 in NYC's Chinatown

Chinatown’s streets were full of people. They even blocked some streets from traffic. I could hear drums from afar – they accompanied lion dances. Most people wandered around as well and constantly popped confetti cannons or threw bang snaps. Many restaurants had lines because it was just after noon.

janavar - Lunar New Year 2022 in NYC's Chinatown
janavar - Lunar New Year 2022 in NYC's Chinatown

I soaked in the atmosphere of a cultural celebration that is so different to what I used to know. To me Chinatown has this special magic – whenever I go to that neighborhood, I feel like delving into a different culture. Besides watching people, I also visited a few stores. Besides the things I mentioned above, I also bought a few goods from bakeries and some frozen buns and instant milk tea from a supermarket.

janavar - Lunar New Year 2022 in NYC's Chinatown

I surprised myself with having enough energy to walk around for several hours before I had a late lunch in a restaurant I had been to several times: Sun Sai Gai. Their wonton duck noodle soup does not only cost $10, but it is also big and super tasty. Also, I love hot soups in winter. Afterwards, I took the subway home.

janavar - Lunar New Year 2022 in NYC's Chinatown
janavar - Lunar New Year 2022 in NYC's Chinatown

I really enjoyed the Lunar New Year celebrations. First of all, they were in the middle of the day, which made it much more fun because I was wide awake anyways. Everybody was in such a good mood (plus everyone constantly wore a mask, even outside). I really enjoyed gaining a small glimpse into the celebrations that are in some ways similar to the western ones, but then again also seem quite different.

janavar - Lunar New Year 2022 in NYC's Chinatown
janavar - Lunar New Year 2022 in NYC's Chinatown

The celebrations actually continue for 15 days, also in New York City. If I feel up to it, I would love to see some more of them. In any case, being the crazy cat lady I am, I am obviously also happy that our baby will be born in the year of the tiger 🙂

janavar - Lunar New Year 2022 in NYC's Chinatown

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