Tag Archives: better chinatown

Dragons Fire Up the Lunar New Year Parade In Chinatown

18 Feb
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Double Dragons Lead the Way

      The grand finale of the 15 day Lunar New Year celebration was well under way on Mott St. in the heart of Chinatown. A stage was set up on Hester and Mott Sts. to proclaim the importance of the holiday to VIPs, politicians, and dignitaries. US Senator Chuck Schumer , US Representative Nydia Velazquez and NY State Senator John Liu were among those present to help celebrate the occasion.  Parade founder, Steven Tin, of Better Chinatown, did a great job in keeping the pre-parade festivities going. The most anticipated part is when lettuce heads are dangled from long wooden poles and the dancing lions shred the leaves and toss them to the crowd for prosperity.  It was a great tradition to see well and alive in Chinatown.

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Dancing Lions Greeting the Crowd

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Staten Island Lions Leading the Way

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Dragon Leader Weaving His Way

     As usual the mounted police signals the start of the parade with the NYPD marching band shortly behind. For some reason there were more dragons than in previous years and the crowd just loved it. A perennial favorite, Staten Island Lions, brought their dancing lions and got the crowd worked up for a day of fun and tradition. The all-female drum band, Fogo Azul, really had a great time. One of the largest groups, World Journal, is known for their huge double dragons was making their way up the parade route.

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Tilted Dragon Going For A Spin

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Prosperity Is In Your Future

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Buddha Leading the Lion

     Local community groups with  colorful costumes and artistic work made their way up the parade route. Families with children from China and the DeSoto Public school had great costumes and kids enjoying the passing of tradition. It was a successful parade with big crowds and lots of dragons and dancing lions. Marchers ended the parade at Roosevelt Park where more events kept the festivities going. The parade celebrated its 20th year and keeps growing each year. Once the parade was over, I made my way to my to Wo Hop, my favorite restaurant on Mott St.

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Double Dragons Deliver Good Times at Year of the Dog Parade in Chinatown

25 Feb
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Double Dragons Steal the Show

     A rainy morning gave way just in time for the 19th annual start of the Chinese Lunar New Year parade in Chinatown. This is the Year of the Dog in Chinese astrology and is one of the most important festivals in China. It lasts for about 15 days and brings families together for a time of tradition and celebration.  The parade route along Mott St. in Chinatown was filled with thousands of people eager to see the dancing lions and dragons. Many young kids had their red envelopes ready to feed the lions for good luck. As usual, the mounted police signaled the start of the parade with the NYPD Marching Band behind them to kick things off. A perennial favorite, the Staten Island Lions, had the honorary lead Dancing Lions followed by parade VIPs and dignitaries with Better Chinatown founder, Steven Tin, leading the way.

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Dancing Dragons

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Better Chinatown Founder Steven Tin

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Staten Island Lions Getting Things Started

 

     Plenty of local community groups got involved in a display of unity including the Tai Pun Residents Association group with their version of Dancing Lions. Local PS 130 always sends their students with a proud display of smaller versions of Dancing Lions. A fan favorite, Families With Children from China, always show off their version of animal of the zodiac for that year. There were plenty of happy dogs on display. By far, the grandest display came from World Journal with their Dancing Lions and colorful Double Dragons. They really got into the celebration with parade revelers reaching over to touch the dragons head for good luck. The soggy weather held off just in time for the thousands of people that came out to enjoy the grand holiday.

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Gong Hei Fat Choy

 

The Rooster Crows Twice In a Weekend

6 Feb
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Year of The Rooster

     While many shoppers were getting ready for a usual busy weekend in Flushing Queens, Main St. was being taken over by a fun celebration of the Chinese Lunar New Year. This is one of the biggest holidays in China and for all its immigrants the world over. Flushing has the distinction of being the most diverse neighborhood in the country with a large Asian population. The fun started early….around 11am the first of the groups kicked off the parade at Union Ave. and 37th St. and ended up on Main St. This parade is more symbolic of the diverse neighborhood with Chinese, Koreans, Taiwanese, Malaysians, and more joining in to celebrate the Year of the Rooster (4714th year in China). Actually, 2017 is the female red chicken with lots of references to wealth, luxury, and beauty. So a few more spa visits may be in order for 2017.

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Dragons on the Loose

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Feeding the Lions Lettuce

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     A crowd favorite has always been the World Journal group with their double dragons greeting the crowd. They were great and got the crowd warmed up for a young group from the DCH Racing group and their dancing lions tossing some lettuce leafs to the crowd for prosperity and good luck. The anchor of the group with the largest participation is the Falun Dafa  group. They have one of the best marching bands in the city. So it was a treat to watch them and hear their message of peace and tranquility.  After the last of the group marched on, everyone gathered for the traditional firecracker explosions to bring in the New Year with a bang. Lots of parade fans ending up heading over to Prince St. for some of the best Asian food in the city. But wait, there’s more…..the celebration started on Flushing on Saturday and ended up the following day in Chinatown. Many Flushing residents just hopped on the #7 train and transferred  at Grand Central for the #6 local train to Canal St. where the party was even more colorful and louder.

Flushing Parade Photos

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Dancing Lions Roam in Chinatown

     A makeshift stage was set up on Mott and Hester St. where Chinatown and Little Italy converge. Parade VIPS and city officials meet and proclaim glad tidings in the New Year. US Senator of NY Chuck Schumer gave a popular speech about how important a role immigrants have had on the city and country and that he would continue to fight the President on issues like this one. The crowd loved it. Once all the greetings were done the traditional feeding of lettuce to the dancing lions was made. Lettuce leafs were flying all over the place. I got to meet parade chairman, Steven Tin for a bit and he was very happy how the event turned out. And he should be proud. Every year the crowd gets bigger. Then the fun started with the perennial favorite Staten Island Lions getting the crowd worked up. Plenty of folks rubbed the lions head and eyes for good luck. It’s always great to see the kids get involved and every year Families with Children from China make puppets of the animal associated with the years celebration. There were plenty of roosters making some noise from that group. The display of exotic cars keeps growing with more horsepower revving it up.

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Parade Chairman Steven Tin

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Double Dragons

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Rising Roosters

     Making their loud entrance for their first year at the parade, the all female drum group Batala made their way on to the parade route. They were great and got the crowd ready for the big entrance of the double dragons. It takes about a dozen people to hold up each dragon so they can weave their way and greet the fans. This was a more colorful parade than the one in Flushing the previous day but just as much fun. The parade ended up in Roosevelt Park where  there was more entertainment and vendors for all to enjoy. I couldn’t pass up going to Wo Hop on  17 Mott St. for some great Chinese food.

新年快樂

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