Chinese New Year falls on a different day each year, and this year it begins on January 23rd. According to Wikipedia, “Chinese New Year is the longest and most important festivity in the Chinese calendar….According to tales and legends, the beginning of Chinese New Year started with the fight against a mythical beast called the Nian (Chinese: 年; pinyin: nián). Nian would come on the first day of New Year to eat livestock, crops, and even villagers, especially children. To protect themselves, the villagers would put food in front of their doors at the beginning of every year. It was believed that after the Nian ate the food they prepared, it wouldn’t attack any more people. One time, people saw that the Nian was scared away by a little child wearing red. The villagers then understood that the Nian was afraid of the colour red. Hence, every time when the New Year was about to come, the villagers would hang red lanterns and red spring scrolls on windows and doors. People also used firecrackers to frighten away the Nian. From then on, Nian never came to the village again. The Nian was eventually captured by Hongjun Laozu, an ancient Taoist monk. The Nian became Hongjun Laozu’s mount”.
The year 2012 marks the year of the dragon. I was born in the year of the ox. Check out this website to see what your Chinese zodiac sign is.
Visit the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) located at 215 Centre Street (between Howard and Grant Streets) to learn more!
Hours of Operation:
Monday – 11am to 5pm
Thursday – 11am to 9pm
Friday – 11am to 5pm
Saturday and Sunday – 10am to 5pm
General – $7
Senior (65+) and Students (w/ ID) – $4
Note: Target free admission is available on Thursdays
Lunar Events Around the City
January 23rd –New Year Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival from 11am -3pm (free) in Roosevelt Park between Grand and Hester Streets.
January 28th – Lunar New Year Celebration at the Winter Garden from 1pm – 4pm (Free)
January 29th – Watch the 13th Annual Chinatown Lunar Parade as it winds through Chinatown from 11:30am – 4pm (Free)
February 5th – Check out the China Institute’s Lion Dance from 11am – Noon.
Love AGT :)