Tag Archives: chinatown

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

9 Feb

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.


Mayor DiBlasio Honors Stephen Tin 


Rats Getting Loose


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.


Dancing Lion Greets the Crowd


Green Dragon On the Run


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



Dragons Fire Up the Lunar New Year Parade In Chinatown

18 Feb

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.


Dancing Lions Greeting the Crowd


Staten Island Lions Leading the Way


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.


Tilted Dragon Going For A Spin


Prosperity Is In Your Future


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.

Written by: Albert Terc

Photos by: Albert Terc




Frozen Monkey Warms the Hearts of Many in Chinatown

15 Feb



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.


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 .


Thousands Flock to Chinatown in Celebration of the Year of the Goat

25 Feb
Dancing Lions

Dancing Lions

The walk-in freezer weather NYC has been going through most of February finally broke just in time for the 16th annual celebration of the Chinese Lunar New Year. This is the most important and celebrated of all the Chinese holidays and brings families together. Parade organizers, Better Chinatown, always do great job organizing the festivities. As usual, the pre-parade festivities start on Mott and Hester Sts. in Chinatown. Politicians and parade VIPs all greet the crowd and make proclamations and wish everyone a happy New Year. When all the well wishes were done, the people on the VIP float dangled lettuce on a pole to appease the Dancing Lions. The lions “eat” the lettuce and then throw it back to the crowd for good luck and prosperity. Then the fun starts with the parade kicking off down Mott St. where the narrow streets made the clang and drum beat reach higher decibel levels. The thousands of revelers that lined the parade route really got into it when the Staten Island Lions led the first group of marchers. More traditional dancing arrived when Chinese Folk Yanko Dance Group of female dancers showed off their moves. A parade favorite from the World Journal group arrived with the double dragons swerving their way through the parade route. The kids loved it.  This was a fun way to kick off the parade season then off to my favorite restaurant Wo-Hop…wahoo.

Marni Having Fun

Marni Having Fun

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Galloping in Style at the Chinese Lunar New Year in Chinatown

4 Feb
Double Dragons

Double Dragons

     Most everyone was glad to see the arctic month January leave and welcome some relief in February. Somehow, the weather calmed down some on Feb. 2nd which made it perfect for a groundhog to see his shadow, for the Superbowl to be played in neighboring New Jersey and for a parade to celebrate the most important of all Chinese holidays, the Lunar New Year. The year 4712 is in one of the Chinese favorite zodiac signs, the year of the Horse and thousands of people came out along the parade route on Mott St. to Roosevelt Park. Just before all the fun started, the traditional proclamations and feeding lettuce to the lions for prosperity occurred on Mott and Hester Sts. There is where politicians informed the public of new efforts on immigration, jobs and closing schools on the Lunar New Year to honor the tradition.

Let the Celebration Begin

Let the Celebration Begin

Dancing Lions Getting Warmed Up

Dancing Lions Getting Warmed Up

Steven Tan with the Beauty Queens

Steven Tan with the Beauty Queens

     This year’s version of the parade included some beauty queens and a horse drawn carriage and some classic cars. Parade organizer, Steven Tan, once again performed like a field general and kept things moving smoothly.  The beauty queens signaled the start of the parade and soon followed by a crowd favorite, the dancing Lions from Staten Island. They got the crowd worked up for what would be a fun parade for all. Keeping the energy level on high was parade regular, Marni, dressed as a  beautiful butterfly on rollerblades. The crowd loved her. A larger presence in this years parade were the group for equality and the LGBT marchers. One of the nicest things to see at this parade is the amount of young children that come watch and even march in the 15th annual parade in Chinatown, USA. All the kids I saw were amazed and truly enjoyed the double dragons weaving their way along the parade route. They were soon followed by an energetic group of dancing lions to close out the parade.  Walking away from the parade the streets were filled with confetti showing just how much fun and great times people had.

Marni Having Some Fun

Marni Having Some Fun

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Happy Year of the Horse

Happy Year of the Horse

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