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The last new moon of January traditionally kicks off a multi-day celebration in many Asian cultures of the impending arrival of spring. This year, that new moon—and thus the Lunar New Year—is January 25, but the Year of the Rat festivities have already begun at Hudson Yards. The customary holiday revelry revolves around family and food. So put on some red or gold - the colors associated with good fortune and luxury in Chinese cultures— and stop by for a full schedule of exciting entertainment, cultural activities, special prizes, limited-edition products, and, of course, tasty meals.
Fan, drum and ribbon dances, three ancient forms of synchronized performance, are receiving both traditional and contemporary treatments by New York City’s own Red Silk Dancers. See them Saturdays at 2:00 pm and 3:30 pm, through February 1. Similarly, you can catch lion dances on Thursdays at 5:30 pm and 6:30 pm, through February 6. These duets, which honor a cultural symbol of strength and wisdom, are thought to confer prosperity to neighborhoods and businesses.
Eight is an auspicious number in the Chinese culture, so spend $188 at any retailer at The Shops from now until February 6 and receive a red envelope, another traditional token of fortune, from the Concierge on Level 1. Each envelope contains a scratch-off ticket that offers good fortune sayings and prizes including the chance to win a $1,000 Neiman Marcus gift card.
Many of The Shops are celebrating in their own way. On January 25 at Camp, families can drive away Niam, the mythical kid-taunting beast, with DIY lanterns, then recharge with cookies. Several stores have special collections—Tory Burch stars Rita the Rat, Kate Spade features Tom & Jerry and Atelier Cologne’s limited edition Santal Carmin gift set comes in a red box with lanterns. At Keihl’s, you’ll get an eight-piece gift or red jasper facial roller with an $85 or $150+ purchase. And from January 24-26, MUJI is handing out Lucky Cards with special prizes for any purchase of $25 or more. For a limited time, it will be offering special MUJI Lucky Bags, too.
Celebrate together at Zodiac Room, where their Year of the Rat prix-fixe menu features vegetarian dumplings, bao buns and fried rice. For a big family-style, head to Wild Ink for a three-course meal that includes treasure red pocket dumplings, whole sea bass and braised pork belly. The restaurant is also serving up Hong Bao, a “red pocket” that accompanies a fortune—and gift cards. If you want to toast the new moon, Kāwi is mixing—what else?—a red cocktail, called Viva Corea. On your way out, pick up some treats to bring home: the famed black-and-whites of William Greenberg Desserts have been given an auspicious makeover, in festive red and yellow.