How to Celebrate Chinese New Year Nearby

Here are the best ways to celebrate the Year of the Horse.

Chinese New Year dragon dance at Orchid Restaurant in Garden City. (Photo: Andrew Vardakis)
Chinese New Year dragon dance at Orchid Restaurant in Garden City. (Photo: Andrew Vardakis)

Happy Lunar New Year! 

Friday marks the celebration of Chinese New Year and several places nearby are starting the celebrations.

First, here's what you need to know about this year's celebration:

  1. The celebration marks the Lunar Year 4712.
  2. This is the year of the Horse. "Horses" in Chinese astrology are excellent communicators, cheerful, popular, and love the spotlight. However, they are also impatient, have a temper, wasteful, interfering, and sometimes fail to finish what they started.
  3. Skip the formal black dress and instead, wear red. Red symbolizes good fortune and joy in Chinese culture, perfect for celebrating the new year.
  4. You can "feed" the dragons as they dance by offering "lucky money" in a small, decorated red envelope.
  5. Fireworks are used to drive away evil. In China, huge fireworks displays are produced. The crackling of a fire was once thought to drive away evil spirits.
  6. If you botched your New Year's resolution to clean, you can give it another try for Chinese New Year. Cleaning your entire home is traditional.
  7. Feast on traditional Chinese foods like oranges, whole fish, dumplings, or long noodles.
  8. 8 is a lucky number, so we're ending this list here.

Here are a few restaurants nearby offering celebratory feasts and lion dances:

Orchid Restaurant
Garden City
Orchid is hosting lion dances with a special dinner Friday and Saturday for $45 plus tax and tip. For $55, head to an even bigger party at the 8:30 p.m. seating Saturday for more music from a DJ and dancing. The parties are Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

West East Bistro
For $38.88 (there are the lucky 8s again), see a lion dance and enjoy an eight-course authentic Chinese dinner. Performances are Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., Feb. 7 at 7 p.m., Feb. 8 at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Feb. 9 at 5:30 p.m. More info here.

Fortune Wheel
Watch the lion dances and martial arts performances for free while feasting on New Year's specialty foods. The party starts at 12 p.m. Saturday.

The Orient
Feast on a 12-course traditional Chinese meal and watch a lion dance performance for $39.95 per person. Performances are Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 12 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., 8 p.m. Feb. 7, and 12 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8.

Are you going to a different lion dance nearby? Tell us in the comments and we'll add it to the list!

Michael Weinberg February 01, 2014 at 10:22 AM
Green Planet is seeking qualified families to host Chinese students for the upcoming school year. An amazing opportunity for lifelong friendships, cultural and language exchange, and greater understanding of Chinese life their approach. Significant stipend provided. Students go to local high schools with the goal of attending US university. For more information: 516-425-6583~Michael mweinberg@gphomestay.com
christie nicolle February 01, 2014 at 10:47 AM
in Chinese astrology I'm a horse... so does this year of the horse mean good luck? I hear wearing red in fung shui is lucky too?
sadeto February 01, 2014 at 11:39 PM
Yes, it does, but you have to wear red underwear during the New Year. It's not too late, the celebration generally goes on for a week.
Penquin February 02, 2014 at 09:16 PM
Gee, I thought you were the ass


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