Tag Archives: chinatown

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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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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