Two Parades Wrap Around The Year of the Snake Celebration Weekend

18 Feb

Goldren Dragons in Chinatown

     The most celebrated of Chinese tradition is the Lunar New Year.  Gung hay fat choy and Sun nien fai lok. May you be prosperous and Happy New Year. February 4 marks the Chinese Lunar New Year, 4711, the Year of the Snake, the Black Water Snake for those that follow Chinese astrology. The Asian community in both Flushing, Queens and Chinatown displayed their culture and heritage in their respective parades this past weekend. On Saturday Feb. 16th, the parade in Flushing kicked off on Union St. and 39th Ave.  with traditional Korean dance groups leading the day of festivities and celebration. There are over 1 million Asians living in NYC and half reside in the diverse neighborhood of Flushing. This parade goes to great lengths to include all Asians in representing their culture.  After parade organizers marched on by, the fun really started when a float with some young Psy impersonators going Gangam style. Everyone enjoyed the World Journal golden dragons as they went from on side of Main St. to the other and people rubbed the dragon head for good luck and prosperity.

Korean children drummers

Golden Dragon

   DCH Racing Dancing Lions

Dancing Lions in Flushing

  One of the favorite parts of the parade is when the dancing lions come out to greet the crowd and as tradition goes to help chase away the evil spirits. One group after the other came out with their best lion costume and dancers. The DCH Racing group added the traditional feeding of the lettuce to the lion as extra incentive. Good luck comes to those that catch the lettuce leaves. A parade just isn’t a parade without a marching band and as usual the band from the Falun Dafa group marched in precision. They are without doubt one of the top marching bands for ethnic parades in the city. Closing out the parade, everyone gathered around the Paris Baguette store by the Crossing shopping mall to witness a loud display of fireworks used to chase away evil spirits. Of course all this fun activity just got my appetite kicking so I went over to Prince St. where all the good Asian restaurants are. My only disappointment was the long lines to get into a few of the better Asian restaurants but I walked over to Spicy and Tasty for a quick meal and was pleasantly surprised. The celebration was far from over because the next day a bigger celebration would take place in Chinatown.

Dancing Lions

     Lions after eating lettuce

     SI Lions on Mott St.

     The blustering cold winds could not stop the thousands of people from gathering along the parade route starting at Mott and Hester Sts.  where politicians and VIPs made their way for the 14th annual Lunar New Year parade in Chinatown. Getting the crowd all worked were two dancing lions on the prowl. Once all the New Year well wishes were made, the traditional feeding of the lettuce to the lions began with much fanfare. I was lucky to catch a leaf so I will let you know just how lucky I was at the end of the year. The anticipation was building for all the dragons and dancing lions and the crowd was not disappointed. The SI Lion group got the crowd worked up for a local favorite, City Comptroller John C. Lui, who is a mayoral candidate for election later this year. Sen. Chuck Schumer provided updates on the Immigration Bill in Congress now. The bill would allow for more Asians to enter the United States so their families could be united. Parade organizer Steven Tan was like a field general in getting all the groups organized and keep the parade flowing in spite of an early glitch that had marchers waiting. The revelers got their chance to greet two large golden dragons and rub its head for good luck.  One of the larger groups was the Families with Children from China and their big snake. Giving them some competition were the LBGT group that made a bigger snake for the crowd to touch for good luck. Parade marchers and revelers made their way along the parade route to  Sara Roosevelt Park where vendors, musicians and performers displayed more Chinese culture. All in all it was a great parade weekend in celebration of the Year of the Snake.

Snake coming to get you

More snakes

Gangam Style in Flushing

Elegance at the parade in Flushing

Taiwan at the Flushing parade

Falun Dafa at Flushing Parade

Dragon greeting the crowd

Three beauties at parade in Chinatown

NY Assemblyman wants some lettuce

Getting ready to cruise in style in Chinatown

Jogn C Lui greeting the crowd

Rollerblading diva in Chinatown

3 Chinese Gods

Happy New Year

Gung Hay Fat Choy!!

Next Parade: St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Saturday March 16th, 5th Ave & 44th St. 11am 

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