Lunar New Year is the single most important holiday of the year in many East Asian cultures. This year it falls officially on February 10, but the holiday really translates to a week or two of celebrations for many Queens residents of Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tibetan and Mongolian heritage.
The New Year is a time of getting together with family, paying respects to ancestors, enjoying great food, conjuring good luck, and celebrating the beginning of spring. Traditionally, the Lunar New Year is also like a communal birthday, with everyone turning a year older at the same time.
Here we’ve laid out some of the cultural traditions and special foods of each version of the holiday – and, of course, where you can celebrate in Queens.
Open Mic at Rapture Lounge – Tonight, head to Rapture Lounge for their weekly Open Mic. Signup starts at 7pm and the open mic goes from 8-10pm. Musicians, poets, writers, singers-songwriters, comedians, and performance artists are all welcome. Bonus: no cover charge or drink minimum (but their drinks are worth a try). Stop by and see great local talent while imbibing one of their classic cocktails, like the Rapture’Rita (made with pineapple infused tequila!). (more…)
This Sunday, celebrate the Autumn Moon Festival in Flushing, where events will be happening throughout the day. Take your kids to Kissena Corridor Park (GMAP) to fly kites from 2-6pm. From 4-6pm, the Queens Botanical Garden will have arts and crafts activities for the kids as well, and then later there will be a music and dance performance by the New York Chinese Cultural Center. The big parade down Main Street (40th Road to Elder Ave) starts at 5pm, and fireworks are at 8pm. And don’t forget to try a mooncake!
We start this week with a sampling of the great variety of arts and culture available throughout Queens. There’s dance in LIC, art in College Point, and poetry in Woodhaven.
Image source: Resobox.com
Japanese Classical Dance for Kids at Resobox – This evening, take your 8-11 year old to this fun and informative Japanese classical dance class in Long Island City. Performer and writer Helen Moss leads the class in learning about the 400 year-old elegant Soke Fujima style of nichibu dance. The class goes for an hour, starting at 5:30pm, with a class for people 12 years old and up following immediately at 6:30pm. All experience levels are welcome. (more…)