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Calendar of Ethnic Festivals

CELEBRATIONS • December

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Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting
Manhattan
1st week in December
Rockefeller Plaza, between 49th and 50th Streets

Half a million spectators gather to herald the holiday season with the ceremonial lighting of New York’s Chirstmas tree, an 80-foot Norway spruce decorated with 26,000 colored lights.

For more information: Rockefeller Center Information Line, 212-632-3975.
http://www.rockefellercenter.com

last update: 9/2008


Annual TubaChristmas
Manhattan
Sunday in mid-December, late afternoon
Rockefeller Center, Skating Rink

In his book America, Charles Kuralt names TubaChristmas at Rockefeller Center as the place to be for Christmas, and while TubaChristmas takes place in 176 American cities and several European ones, the event’s organizer finds this setting hard to match for Christmas spirit. 300 Tuba players gather on the ice beneath the Christmas tree for an annual concert of holiday carols. The musicians range from young children just learning the instrument to at least one 85-year old who returns year after year. Tubas of all shapes and sizes, many of them decorated with holiday lights, Christmas trees, and menorahs, make a great Christmas sight.

For more information: Rockefeller Center Information Line, 212-632-3975.
http://www.tubechristmas.com

last update: 9/2008


Hanukkah Menorah Lighting
Manhattan and Brooklyn
Every night of Chanukkah, after nightfall
Fifth Avenue at 59th Street and Grand Army Plaza

Each evening of Hanukkah, following the sunset, ceremonial lightings of large, decorative menorahs take place throughout the city. The two largest and most public lightings are at Fifth Avenue and 59th Street in Manhattan and at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn. As the new candle is lit, spectators sing Hanukkah songs, and if it is not too cold, there is dancing as well.

last update: 9/2008


New Year’s Eve Celebration
Manhattan
December 31, dusk to after midnight
Times Square

In 1906 the New York Times sponsored the first “time ball,” a promotion for its new skyscraper at the crossroads of the world, and symbolic of the time-keeping globes prevalent in American cities at the turn of the century. In 1995, more than 500,000 people from around the world gathered in Times Square to usher in the New Year, New YorkBstyle. The time-ball recently had a high-tech facelift; covered with 12,000 rhinestones and hundreds of halogen bulbs and strobe lights, the 6-foot metal sphere is lit internally with a 10,000-watt bulb and backlit with laser beams. Its descent from the sky along with revelry on the streets is a quintessential New York event.

For more information: Times Square Alliance, http://www.timessquarenyc.org/nye/nye.html

last update: 9/2008

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