Festivals and Celebrations in New York City

9:14 am  |  06.04.2021

Envy comes when you consider the abundance and variety of festivals and celebrations in New York City. Almost every week on the streets or in the cultural centers of the Big Apple there are lively and interesting events that invite you to marvel and participate. Whether dance, theater or museums, district or flower festival, fireworks or food festivals – here you will find something for every taste.


Plum and Peony Festival

“The garden is created by the human hand, but should appear as if created by heaven.” Ji Chang, a Chinese garden designer in the 15th century.

From March 25th to April 1st, the annual Plum Blossom Festival takes place in the New York Chinese Scholar’s ​​Garden in the Staten Island Botanical Garden. In addition to the sight of plum blossoms in the authentically designed Chinese garden, there is also the opportunity to take part in rice wine tastings. And if you are lucky, you will meet Wu Yi, who paints plum blossoms with traditional ink. The only classical Chinese garden in the USA was designed by Chinese artists and craftsmen.

The peony is the rose without a thorn: in Christian symbolism, prosperity, feminine splendor, and recovery are associated with the plant. A Chinese empress even called the peony: “The ornament of the empire, the most indomitable and the most beautiful in the country.” And in the Mediterranean region, the peony and especially its roots are considered to have magical healing properties, for example against toothache or epilepsy. In Greek mythology, people have even included a peony (or peony) brought back to life.

A sea of ​​red (and sometimes white and purple) flowers awaits visitors to the Staten Island Botanical Garden as part of the Peony Festival from May to June. Many of the specimens – there are around 3,000 different species worldwide – are in the shadow of decorative paper parasols.

Cherry Blossom Festival

Hanami: This is what the Japanese call the tradition or, better said, the art of viewing and appreciating every moment of the cherry blossom season – from the first buds to the falling petals – with all your senses.

More than 200 cherry trees (42 different species) Will transform the Brooklyn Botanic Garden into a pink sea of ​​flowers this spring from April 6th to May 7th – the first five trees have been in bloom since January.

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And during the Sakura Matsuri (April 29-30), a traditional Japanese festival, the focus is not only on the lush balls of flowers but also on Japanese culture: Taiko drummers, traditional Japanese music, dances, tea ceremonies, bonsai cutting courses, haiku readings, a Kimono fashion show and numerous workshops for the whole family.

Ninth Avenue International Food Festival

“Quirky, but hilarious. One day America will understand.”  An unknown contemporary witness.

The Ninth Avenue International Food Festival has been held in Midtown Manhattan every May since 1974. The huge street festival between 37th and 57th Street impressively reflects the ethnic diversity of this area that has remained originally. In the beginning, there were mainly residents with German and Irish roots, later followed by Greeks, Puerto Ricans, and Peruvians, among others.

The selection of dishes and specialties on offer during the Food Festival in May, which regularly attracts more than a million visitors, is correspondingly enormous. The spectrum of culinary delights ranges from seafood, falafel, and grilled cheese to gyros and satay skewers to suckling pig. There is also a flea market, live music, stalls, and a petting zoo.


Fringe NYC

The “Fringe NYC” in August celebrates the most innovative, daring performing arts – from dance and theater to musicals and spoken word to puppet theater. 

More than 200 institutions from all over the world will once again offer dazzling and, above all, highly unusual entertainment on the stages of the more than 20 event locations in Lower Manhattan. With more than 1300 performances, including some especially for families, Fringe NYC is the largest multi-arts festival in North America. With panel discussions, seminars and workshops.

Harlem Week

“… And Still … We Rise!”: The Harlem district in Manhattan is the center for African American culture in the USA.

Every year since 1974, the summer festival Harlem Week in August offers insights into the rich history, culture and art, cuisine (soul food), and fashion of the community. Highlights: “A Great Day in Harlem” with concerts, a fashion show and cabaret, the junior basketball tournament “Golden Hoops”, music festival “Uptown Saturday Night”, “Harlem Day” with the Upper Manhattan Auto Show and finally the fashion show “Harlem’s.” In Vogue “

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Good to know: Numerous celebrities were born in Harlem, including writers Ralph Ellison and James Baldwin, singers Harry Belafonte, P. Diddy, Alicia Keys and Sammy Davis Jr. James Brown, Ella Fitzgerald and Michael Jackson her first appearances, the basketball players of the Harlem Globetrotters also come from this quarter of course. The Harlem Renaissance was a major artistic movement of African American writers, painters, and musicians in the 1920s.

Shakespeare in the Park

“Fair is foul, and foul is fair.” For more than 50 years, the public “Shakespeare in the Park” in Central Park has been staged by the Public Theater in the Delacorte Theater.

Founded by Joseph Papp as a Shakespeare Workshop, the Public Theater has become known far beyond America’s borders with the annual Shakespeare in the Park. Under the motto “a Shakespeare theater in the park in the Delacorte Theater for all citizens”, more than 250,000 onlookers gather in front of the ensemble’s stages every year in late summer. In total, around four million visitors have seen almost 80 performances since it began in 1962.


New York Comedy Festival

“New York is the center of the comedy universe,” says the American comedian Denis Leary quite immodestly.

This thesis can be checked for its truthfulness: But watch out for your laughing muscles during the New York Comedy Festival in November, otherwise, you will get a cramp! In any case, the organizers have spared no expense or effort to hire the best in the field: Queen Latifah, Denis Leary, and Jim Norton, among others, will show off their crazy and sometimes hearty skills on the stages of numerous comedy clubs. As always, the festival starts with the legendary roast: This time it is Roseanne’s turn to be kidnapped. Don’t miss it!

The New York Festival

At “The New Yorker Festival”, public discourse about art and ideas will take place.

As part of the three-day festival, readings and book signings, concerts, interviews, debates, actors, designers and directors, excursions and even parties are organized.

The New Yorker is one of the most respected publications in the US magazine market. Only the best journalists write for the New Yorker who has been known since 1925 for his reports, short stories, poems, reviews, essays, cartoons, and commentaries on American popular culture.

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Time Out New York Eat Out

For all good food lovers

40 New York’s top restaurants for just $ 100: The food editors of Time Out magazine presented their awards and invited 40 of the best restaurants and bars to the Skylight (275 Hudson Street @ Spring Street) in mid-October to share their art and their tastes to demonstrate to a hungry and thirsty gourmet audience. Among others: Gotham Bar & Grill, The Modern, and Sapa.


Wave Hill: Celebrating Winter Through Nature

Like every winter, Wave Hill invites young and old to experience the magnificent public gardens and greenhouses as well as the numerous exciting events at the coldest time of the year.

The highlight of “Celebrating Winter through Nature” (until mid-January) are eleven festively decorated installations by renowned artists, which will be exhibited in the Wave Hill House and Perkins Visitor Center.

In addition, there are numerous activities for young and old in the winter wonderland – from song recitals with piano accompaniment to workshops for containers and garlands to craft courses for Christmas cards and wrapping paper. Liquid samples provide something hot: mulled wine, herbal teas, and peppermint cocoa.

Good to know: Wave Hill is a former private residence in Riverdale with gardens, groves, and sweeping views of the Hudson River and the New Jersey palisades. A total of 1,151 plant genera and 3,236 plant species can be admired on an area of ​​around 11 hectares. The cultural center organizes concerts, workshops, exhibitions, and scientific lectures. Wave Hill also tries to generate healthy environmental awareness among children through interactive presentations.

Sorrento Cheese Christmas

On the first three weekends in December, the whole of Little Italy is transformed into a Christmas wonderland with festive lights, colorful decorations, and a huge illuminated Christmas tree during Sorrento Cheese Christmas.

Every Saturday at 2 p.m. on Mulberry Street between Broome and Canal Streets and on Hester Street between Mulberry and Mott Streets, there are additional parades with ornate floats, numerous marching bands, costumed opera singers, and dance groups, and Sorrento Cheese Christmas Carolers. On the day of the last parade, Santa Claus will also stop by.

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