Celebrating the Lunar New Year in New York
New York has been full steam ahead with the Lunar New Year celebrations, and ironically enough I have been bumping into rabbits everywhere this weekend. I am hoping that is the good luck I need for you to be reading this post!
There are so many celebrations in New York that it is diffucult to choose which ones to attend, so I decided to layer in all the events I could attend around some of my other commitments this weekend. It started with a stop to the Met Museum – on my way to the Guggenheim of course – and I got to take in my first lion dance of the year from the Met balcony, which was pretty special.
The Met had organized a number of events for this celebration to engage children and adults alike –
Here is the AAPI Jazz Collective performing in the lobby of the Met –
The Met had also organized an exhibit of 16 Chinese works of art from their collection showcasing the rabbit, which is one of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac, and featured in a lot of Chinese literature and folklore. Here is the rabbit as part of the Chinese zodiac. The earthenware collection on the right dates back to the 8th century, and the jade collection on the left is more recent dating back to the 18th – 19th century. The pieces behind the earthenware collection also feature rabbits all dating back to different dynasties.
Here are some more of the pieces from the rabbit collection, the oldest of which dates back to 11th – 9th century BCE! My favorite from this collection is the vase.
I moved on to the Guggenheim Museum to catch a couple of exhibits that have been on my list for a while – Alex Katz and Nick Cave in case you were wondering – and I managed to find two rabbits in Nick Cave’s work, even though this was not part of a Lunar Year celebration! The first is a soundsuit, which was the only work of Nick Cave’s that I was familiar with previously, and the second is titled Hare and Mallet.
I was supposed to meet a friend to bring in the Lunar New Year in Chinatown at midnight, but I could not motivate myself to leave home in the cold that late on a Saturday night. So I made my way to Chinatown on Sunday evening, and the celebrations were in full swing despite the rain! The streets were covered with confetti everywhere you looked, and I even managed to catch some fireworks and a lion dance. I was even introduced to a Dollar Popper, which sprayed little $100 bills all over as confetti!
Earlier on Sunday, I experienced a takeover of billboards in Times Square for the Chinese New Year –
New York landmarks such as Empire State Building celebrated the Lunar New Year by being dressed all in red –
I am grateful for the opportunity to celebrate the Lunar New Year in so many diverse ways in New York this week, and then of course at the annual Lunar New Year parade in Chinatown as well.