Are you over all the candy and chocolates for Valentine’s Day? Out of ideas on what to do with the kids over the long break? How about a culture experience in your own neighborhood? Chinese, I mean Lunar New Year is just around the corner on Friday, February 16th.
Lunar New Year is a big deal, it’s celebrated by millions across many East Asian/South East Asian countries from China, Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Tibet, Thailand, just to name a few. At the root of it, it is about the celebration of the extended family unit. Ushering out the old year and welcoming in the new year in the hopes for prosperity and good fortune. According to the Chinese Zodiac, this will be the Year of the Dog. “A Dog’s most defining characteristic is their loyalty. They will never abandon their friends, family or work.”
Let’s take a look at what’s going on around Westchester.
Greenburgh Nature Center
Sunday, February 18, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Join in on the Chinese New Year celebration! Learn about the Chinese Zodiac animals and meet some of the Nature Center’s own zodiac residents at this special program. $5 for members, $8 for non-members.
White Plains Public Library
Sunday, February 18, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Enjoy stories, music and a lion dance activity at this family program. For children 3+ and their families. Free.
Chappaqua Public Library
Saturday, February 17, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Lion Dancer and more! All Ages! Must Register. Free.
Chuang Yen Monastery (Putnam County)
Friday, February 16 – Sunday, February 18, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Free vegetarian lunch provided only on Friday, February 16 from Noon – 1:00 p.m. Explore the beautiful gardens and tranquility of a Buddhist temple, housing the largest Buddha in the western hemisphere. Please be respectful of the ground rules when visiting (modesty and vegetarian food only).
If you’re not up for festivities, why not try some Dim Sum? Our favorite local spots are Aberdeen Restaurant in White Plains and Central Seafood in Hartsdale. Not sure what to order? Here are my favorite dishes:
- Har Gow (steamed shrimp dumplings)
- Siu Mai (opened topped dumplings filled with pork and shrimp)
- Char Siu Bao (steamed or baked sweet bbq pork buns)
- Pan Fried Turnip Cake
- Shrimp Noodle Rolls
- Clams in Black Bean Sauce
- Sticky Rice
- Steamed pork ribs
- Soup Dumplings
- Taro Root Dumplings (crunchy mashed taro filled with ground pork and shrimp.)