Dos and Don’ts When Heading to Chinatown for Lunar New Year

MOCA president offers guide to the help New Yorkers celebrate the weeks-long celebration in Chinatown.

| 25 Jan 2023 | 10:32

Nancy Yao, president of the newly reopened Museum of the Chinese in America offers these tips for celebrating the feast that started on Jan. 22 and includes the 25th annual Lunar New Year parade on Feb. 12 and won’t wrap up until Feb. 16--three and a half weeks of celebrations.

Zai Jian Year of the Tiger

“Since Lunar New Year is a time for new beginnings and family gatherings, we want to celebrate with you,” Yao said. The museum, which endured a devastating five alarm fire three years ago that some feared would force the beloved neighborhood institution to close forever, has joyfully reopened in time for this years Lunar New Year and will host free or low cost family-friendly activities and virtual programming through the close of celebrations on February 16, 2023.

To help visitors, Yao and the MOCA team compiled a list of 8 THINGS TO DO AND NOT TO DO in the Year of the Rabbit. Eight is considered the luckiest of numbers.

8 Lunar New Year No-Nos

1. Do not give $4 in a red envelope

2. Do not wear white or black

3. Do not sweep the floors or clean the house on the first day of LNY

4. Do not get a haircut during the first lunar month

5. Do not break tools or other equipment

6. Do not visit the doctor on the first day of LNY

7. Do not do needlework on the first day of LNY

8. Do not get into arguments

8 Lunar New Year Foods to Eat

1. A 10-Vegetable Dish

2. Rice Cake --nían nían gāo shēng

3. Fish -- nían nían yoǔ yú

4. Dumplings

5. Sweet Rice Ball/Tang Yuan--túan túan yuan yúan

6. Longevity Noodles--cháng shòu miàn

7. Oranges/Tangerines

8. Cantonese Sweet Fried Dumplings--Gok Zai / Yau Gok

8 Lunar New Year Movies and TV Shows to Watch

1. Everything Everywhere All at Once

2. Minari

3. Pachinko

4. The Farewell

5. Turning Red

6. Ali Wong: Don Wong

7. Ronny Chieng: Speakeasy

8. Atsuko Okatsuka: The Intruder

8 Lunar New Year Gifts to Give

1. Red Envelope (with a new two-dollar bill)

2. Pocket Almanac

3. White Rabbit Candy

4. Coins Ornament with Tassel

5. Lunar Calendar

6. Oranges/Tangerines

7. Chinese New Year Flowers--Narcissus, Lucky Bamboo

8. Ferrero Rocher

Yao said that the pandemic has continued to batter Chinatown and urges residents across the city to support the district’s businesses. “It’s our hope that you will give your favorite Asian small businesses much-needed support,” she urged.

“If you enjoy MOCA FEST 2023 and our free and low-cost Lunar New Year programming, will you encourage us with a red envelope so that MOCA continues to thrive?” she asked. “Your Hong Bao will help sustain our beloved institution and supports the creation of new programming that will bring comfort and inspiration to more communities. And we hope you stay safe and healthy in the year of the rabbit!”

It’s lur hope that you will give your favorite Asian small businesses much needed support.” Nancy Yao, president Museum of the Chinese in America.