Chinese New Year Festivities

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It has officially been 1 week since the first day of the Chinese New Year. Chinatown, NYC has exploded with festivities during the first weekend! Lion Dancers and Chinese unicorns roamed the streets while visitors and celebrators took the day off and enjoyed the company of friends and family. Many also used this great opportunity to purchase and shoot confetti all over the streets before sanitation cleaned up at dusk.  I didn’t quite appreciate all this “craziness” until recently, when I realized how incredible the culture really is and how important it is to keep tradition for our future generations!

If you’re interested in seeing the last celebration of the New Year festivities, come out to Chinatown this Saturday!  Streets are blocked and Lion Dance groups and organizations come out to bless the stores with good luck and scare away the bad. I highly suggest public transportation because there will be no parking!

Here’s a few photos taken during the first weekend.

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(Photo:  Gunther Koo) 

The first day started off with a firecracker ceremony at Sara Roosevelt Park. You can hear the firecrackers a mile away!

If you catch any Lion Dancers during this time, the drums are loud and the crowds get really packed, but it’s worth observing this traditional dance. Some stores hang lettuce for the Lion to come and eat.

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It’s believed that evil spirits walk in a straight line, so lion dancers dance in a zig zag pattern. You might also find its friend, Buddha, who teases the lion to jump, roll, and lie down.

I’m sure I’ll take more pictures this weekend, but for now, all is quiet!  Wish you all a wonderful Lunar New Year!

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