As Lunar New Year approaches, Asian communities in Flushing are trying to strengthen their relationship and will be holding a joint celebration for the holiday.
The Korean and Chinese communities are coming together on Feb. 15 to hold a parade for the beginning of their new calendar year. And Flushing Town Hall has announced a celebration between the two groups.
“The Chinese and Korean communities are developing strong roots in Flushing and so we have to do things together to avoid misunderstanding between the two groups,” said Jamison Moon, a member of the Korean American Association of Queens. “Our two communities don’t usually associate but we are trying to create stronger ties.
The Lunar New Year for many Asian cultures falls on Feb. 19 this year and it will be the year of the sheep. In past celebrations, hundreds of people have come out to celebrate in the parade, and organizers are expecting a similar showing of people with an increased boost from both groups celebrating together.
The day will be filled with festivities like traditional Chinese and Korean dances, free rice-cake soups and a K-Pop singing contest.
The joint celebration comes on the heels of a couple of new laws aimed at increasing the awareness of Flushing’s diverse communities. In December a new law was passed that would allow schools in Flushing to close for Lunar New Year, along with other holidays like Diwali. And the city declared Jan.13 the first Korean-American day.
Between 2008 and 2011, the city’s Korean population jumped 11 percent to more than 103,000, according to the Asian American Federation. And Queens has its own vibrant Korean community, which often holds events, like last year’s Senior Olympics, to celebrate its culture.
Flushing Town Hall will meanwhile host a series of events throughout the month with highlights including a bazaar and an Earth, Water, Fire and Wind dance.
“We’re bringing in the new year by being together,” Moon said. “And to be able to do this between two historically strained groups is a great victory.”