THE YEAR OF THE HORSE
In honor of our office's neighborhood, New York City's bustling Chinatown, we're sharing some Chinatown tips and a little bit of Chinese New Year history with you! Chinese New Year is the most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. In China, people may start preparing for the new year celebration weeks before it begins on January 31st.
The year 4712 (or 2014) is the year of the horse. According to legend, the Buddha asked all animals to meet him on the New Year. Twelve came and the Buddha named a year after each one. He declared the people born in each animal's year would have some of the animal's personality - those born in the year of the horse are said to be cheerful, witty, wise with money, and talented with their hands. Some famous people born in horse years includes Aretha Franklin, Chopin, Rembrandt, and President Theodore Roosevelt.
Red is a prominent color in Chinese New Year celebrations, and we're already starting to see Grand Street storefronts fill with more red and gold lanterns and banners than usual. Red symbolizes fire, which is said to drive away bad luck. Hence why many Chinese New Year festivities include firework displays and sparklers.
Looking to participate in this year's Chinese New Year? Chinatown will be holding its annual Firecracker Ceremony on Friday January 31st, and its annual Lunar New Year Celebration on Sunday February 2nd.
273 GRAND STREET, CHINATOWN
Favorite part about working in Chinatown: $99 cent stores
Least favorite part about working in Chinatown: Sidewalk traffic jams
Favorite place to eat: Any place with soup dumplings
Chinatown Tip: There's always parking
Favorite part about working in Chinatown: The Dimsum
Least favorite part about working in Chinatown: The smells, from the dimsum
Favorite place to eat: Haven't tried food there yet...
Chinatown Tip: Don't walk while looking at your phone, or you will run into people
Favorite part about working in Chinatown: Getting to see a part of NYC most people don't get to experience on a daily basis.
Least favorite part about working in Chinatown: Summer time.
Favorite place to eat: The bakery on the NW corner of Bowery and Hester. It's delicious and cheap.
Chinatown Tip: No one will get out of your way. Use the bike lanes to avoid foot traffic.
Favorite part about working in Chinatown: The people.
Least favorite part about working in Chinatown: Older New Yorkers will argue that we work in Little Italy.
Favorite place to eat: Anyplace that sells Bánh mì...
Chinatown Tip: Do not distract fish market cat, he is working.
Favorite part about working in Chinatown: Watching women do luk tung kuen in the park.
Least favorite part about working in Chinatown: The smell of Grand Street in the summer.
Favorite place to eat: $1 pizza slices
Chinatown Tip: Bring cash.