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China Strong is the Theme in Chinatown for the Lunar New Year Parade

9 Feb
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Fiery Dragons Out for a Spin 

     The Chinese Lunar New Year is one of the most important festivals in mainland China. It always coincides with the first new moon between January 21st and February 20th. That’s why it always changes each year. This year the Lunar New Year arrived on January 25th. The holiday lasts 15 days and the closing ceremony was held in the narrow streets of Chinatown with a grand parade and ceremony. Parade organizers, Better Chinatown, always do a great job for the community and thousands of people line up on the parade route on Mott St. to rub a dancing lion or dragon for good luck and health.

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Mayor DiBlasio Honors Stephen Tin 

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Rats Getting Loose

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Traditional Chinese Characters

     Before the parade kicks off from Hester St., a stage is set up to have dignitaries and VIPs to say a few words to the crowd. As usual, US Senator from NY Chuck Schumer, was a guest speaker and spoke of the challenges facing China with the coronavirus becoming a health crises in Wuhan and other parts of Asia. He encouraged China to remain strong in the face of adversity.  NYC Mayor DiBlasio surprised parade organizer Stephen Tin with a Proclamation stating that February 9th would be Stephen Tin Day in NYC. A grand honor for a man that has dedicated the last 20 years to making the Chinese Lunar New Years a special event for everyone. Then the politicians fed the lettuce to the lions for good fortune.

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Dancing Lion Greets the Crowd

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Green Dragon On the Run

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Marni Getting In on the Fun

     This year celebrates the Year of the Rat, the first in the Chinese astrology, which usually signifies the start of a new cycle. The rest of the parade featured lots of dancing lions and swaying dragons to the delight of the crowd. Community groups and corporate sponsors made their way up the parade route all the way to Sara Delano Roosevelt Park where the festivities continued throughout the day. This was a fun parade and I got to stop by my favorite restaurant, Wo Hop, where there’s always a line to get in.

                                                  Gong hei fat Choy

 

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