Lunar New Year has been celebrated for over 5,000 years by a large portion of the world’s population. In Queens, there is a large and growing population of Asian residents. In Downtown Flushing, specifically, there are many first-generation immigrants who had left their home for a new life.
This year, the Flushing Improvement Business District hosted its third annual Lunar New Year celebration Friday for senior citizens, who were greeted to sounds of traditional folk music as they entered the Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel ballroom.
Approximately 300 seniors filled the hotel room — located at 135-20 39th Ave — for the annual event on Jan. 28, which featured performances such as Peking opera, ethnic dance by the New York Golden Eagle Senior Arts Group, and a solo dance by Ashley Dance Studio.
This year’s Lunar New Year celebration was sponsored by local business MEhome Realty, which aims to give back to the community.
Prior to the past celebrations, which was open to everyone in the Flushing community, this year’s celebration focused solely on seniors in the community, according to Tina Lee, co-chair of the Flushing BID.
“The primary goal of this event is to give back to the community, and seniors in particular,” said Lee. “This event is designed to say thank you to our seniors in advance of the Lunar New Year, and wish everyone a healthy prosperous New Year.”
Lunar New Year, which begins Feb. 5, is a huge event in the Chinese community, according to Lee.
“It’s a time when people get together with their families. It’s kind of like Christmas and Thanksgiving. Although the Flushing BID’s main goal is to promote economic development and keep the community clean, I think it’s really important that we as a community recognize people that contribute to it and are a part of the community.”
After the performance, Flushing BID board members worked together to distribute about 350 Lunar New Year gift bags and food to seniors.