Frozen Monkey Warms the Hearts of Many in Chinatown

15 Feb

 

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On the coldest Valentine’s Day in 20 years, thousands of brave New Yorkers came out to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year in the narrow streets of Chinatown. Waking up to 1 degree F weather didn’t stop the marchers and revelers from greeting the ever tricky Monkey. According to Chinese astrology, this year the fire monkey is celebrated. Problem is there was no fire as cold as it was …brrrrr. The festivities start at the corner of Mott and Hester Streets where VIPs and politicians make their statements and proclamations. But what everyone waits for is the Dancing Lions eating the lettuce dangling from poles. The shredded lettuce is thrown to the crowd and if you’re lucky to get a leaf, it’s a sign of prosperity for the year.

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The fun started right after the Lions gorged the lettuce. For the first time in this parade there was a parade of fancy cars followed by classic cars. Various community groups followed with the crowd favorite Families with Children from China. They displayed an impressive array of puppets of monkeys that got everyone in celebration mode. Then the first of many Dancing Lion groups made their way down the parade route on Mott St. The most impressive was the group Staten Island Lions. They really got the crowd into it. Some people gave the Lion a red envelope, which is a donation for good luck.   One of the largest group of marchers is the group from the World Journal. They have a pair of dragons weaving their way through the parade route that leaves everyone in awe of their size and majesty. The kids just loved it. Despite the Arctic temperature, plenty of people came out to Chinatown to have a winter blast. Gung Hay Fat Choy .

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