Tag Archives: chinese lunar new year

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

 

A Howling Good Time In Flushing For the Lunar New Year

18 Feb
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Double Dragon Fortuna

     Hundreds of marchers were getting ready near Queens Crossing on Main St. in Flushing,  for the start of the annual Chinese Lunar New Year parade. This is one of the most important festivals in the Asian community and usually lasts about 2 weeks. 2018 is the year of the Earth Dog according to Chinese astrology. I especially like this neighborhood parade because of the great food digs especially along Prince St.  Flushing is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the country and home  to over 200 places of worship within a 2.5 square mile radius and remains a model of plurality and an example of how different religions can coexist in harmony.  Commercial and residential development is on the rise in Flushing with the near completion of Tangramnyc and mounting pressure on the City to revamp the area adjacent to Citifield, home of the NY Mets. With all the new progress on the horizon, the parade helps keep tradition going with thousands of people lined up along the parade route to rub the nose of one of the dancing lions or  elegant dragons for good luck and prosperity.

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Dancing Lions

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Falun Dafa

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Dragon Greeting the Crowd

 

     As usual with these parades, the mounted police signals the start of the parade. VIPs and dignitaries carried a large banner announcing the event with the NYPD Marching Band getting things started. This year, the Chinese groups led of the parade with the World Journal double dragon Fortuna wagging their tail down the parade route. They got the crowd really worked up. A returning  favorite were the DCH Racing Group Dancing Lions. They really got into it and were tossing lettuce leaves into the crowd, a symbol of good fortune. Several loyal community groups followed with their banners and well wishes for a Happy New Year. The largest of these groups is Falun Dafa, with their huge marching band. This year they added a few dancing lions and more flags. Their presence keeps growing with their positive messages and beliefs. Closing out the parade were the large Korean marchers with their traditional dress, traditional drummers and military war veterans barking orders to their group to stay in line. They were getting lots of love from the crowd especially since the Winter Olympics are being held in Pyeongchang.  The parade always closes out with a pyrotech display of thousands of firecrackers being lit. What an explosive way to kick off the parade season in NYC.

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Xinnian kuaile

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
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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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