Tag Archives: dancing lions

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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Freezing Winds Can’t Stop the Lunar New Year Festival in Flushing

10 Feb
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Double Dragons from World Journal

     The most important of all Chinese festivals occurs over 15 days and coincides with the new moon between January 21 and February 20 each year. The Lunar New Year is celebrated by over 1 billion people worldwide including one of the most culturally diverse neighborhoods in New York, Flushing, Queens. Chinese astrology designates 2019 as the Year of the Pig. Even with the frigid weather and stiff wind, the parade route along Main St. was filled with revelers looking to rub the dragons head for good luck.

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Dancing Lions Getting Ready to Greet the Crowd

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Koreans in Traditional Attire

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Dancing Lions

 

     As usual the mounted police signals the start of the parade soon followed by the NYPD marching band. Parade dignitaries and VIPs made their way to the reviewing stand near the Queens Public Library on Main St. A diverse group from the Asian community including Koreans, Taiwanese, Malaysians made their way down the parade route.  The lead group this year were the Koreans with their traditional attire and marchers with cymbals and drums. One of the larger groups, World Journal, a Chinese media company, with their famous double dragons are always a fan favorite.

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Falun Dafa Marching Band

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Vessels of Love

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Dragon Bringing Good Luck 

 

     The anchor of the parade, Falun Dafa, is always the largest group with marching bands and great costumes. Falun Dafa has been banned from China for it’s spiritual beliefs and willingness to seek the truth through reporting. A respected media group, Epoch Times, always has a large representation at the parade. Their aim is to report what China seeks to suppress. If I were writing about this event in China, it would have to be edited by the Central Government and may never be published. Our freedom should never be taken for granted.  Once the parade is over, a firecracker festival takes place near an upscale mall, Queens Crossing. One of the best things about neighborhood parades is all the excellent dining choices available. A short walk to Prince St. is must do whenever you are in the area. Happy New Year!!

 

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Happy Year of the Pig!!!

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

 

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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