Asian Culture & East Midtown Lunar New Year Celebration

For the second year the “A Lunar New Year Celebration: Madison Street to Madison Ave,” was hosted by The Chinatown Partnership, East Midtown Partnership, Grand Central Partnership, Madison Avenue Business Improvement District, and SUNY’s Confucius Institute for Business (CIB).




We attended last year and enjoyed a full day of activities from dancing with the Lions, getting fancy red envelopes and enjoying yummy treats. All along the upper east side.

While it is a different experience then being in Chinatown to celebrate Lunar New Year, it's just as good. Matter of fact I like the idea of expanding the exposure to Asian culture to the East side, which some people think is normally just all about business.

East Midtown Lunar New Year Celebration

photo credit: Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for East Midtown Partnership

To learn more about the "Lunar New Year Celebration: Madison Street to Madison Ave", I interviewed Sarah Hornung from East Midtown Partnership. Here's what she shared.


How do you pick which stores and brands to work with?


Madison Avenue is such a fun retail corridor that is expanding further and further south these days and so we thought that it was a natural space for this. Additionally, many of our stores actually have small capsule collections or items that they create for this holiday and sell in the weeks leading up.

How do you make sure to respect the culture/traditions without it becoming to commercial?


This is something that I really care about! So, first of all this is a big commercial holiday! There are a lot of traditions associated with celebrating Lunar New Year, one of which is giving and exchanging gifts. As I said, above, many of our stores actually have small capsule collections or items that they create for this holiday and sell in the weeks leading up.

But the holiday is, obviously, not entirely commercial, there are lots of other traditions, cleaning ones house so that you can start the new year with a clean slate, lion dancers, dragons, dancing and general celebration associated with welcoming the new year, spending time with your family, celebrating the zodiac year and those who were born into that year.

So what we tried to do is meld the two pieces into our event: We have our event space with activities and performances at 54th Street and we have more than 40 businesses participating along Madison Avenue who are welcoming Lion Dancers and offering shoppers special offers.

East Midtown Lunar New Year Celebration

photo credit: Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for East Midtown Partnership

Why should Asian/mixed Asian families come uptown to experience this?


Our event is designed with kids and families with kids in mind! We have amazing performers and activities! It’s all free! We don’t mean to prevent anyone from going to Chinatown or Flushing. It’s a big, exciting, busy celebration!

I do, however, think that for those who may have not previously gone, or honestly, even for those who have small children and it may be a bit much, our event allows for a more manageable taste.

Thanks to East Midtown Partnership for answering my questions and sharing more about Asian culture uptown!

East Midtown Lunar New Year Celebration

photo credit: Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for East Midtown Partnership

This year the celebration kicked off at the Harman Store at 527 Madison Avenue and included a range of family friendly activities including Chinese face painting, calligraphy, paper-cutting, and a themed photo booth.

There was also cultural performances by groups including:

  • The New York Eastern Chamber Orchestra Conducted by Fei Fang;
  • FJ Music, who combine traditional Chinese music with modern-day hits;
  • Umbrella Juggler Lina Liu;
  • A Chinese Opera performance by artists from Confucius Institute for Chinese Opera at SUNY Binghamton University.
  • A traditional Chinese marionettes puppet show from Chinese Theatre Works;
  • A thrilling Martial Art performance from American Tai Chi and Health Qigong Center that will depict the evolving role of martial arts in human history.
Following the performances, a Lion Dance troupe made it way along Madison Ave on a specially decorated trolley, stopping at select luxury retailers offering Lunar New Year promotions to commemorate the Year of the Rooster.

To learn more, visit

East Midtown Partnership: www.eastmidtown.org

Madison Avenue BID: www.madisonavenuebid.org

Chinatown Partnership: www.chinatownpartnership.org

Grand Central Partnership: www.grandcentralpartnership.nyc

SUNY Confucius Institute for Business: www.confuciusbusiness.suny.edu


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2 comments:

  1. Sound like it was a massive event, That's great for the community!

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  2. The educational exposure our children get from all the multi cultural events in NYC is priceless

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