Sunday, February 10, 2008

Gung Hay Fat Choy

In all these years I have never seen the Chinese New Year celebrations and parade. So, I decided that this year, I would brave the blinding snow, plunging temps and 40 mile an hour winds to go see what it was all about. I somehow convinced 3 friends to go with me. I first went up to 65th street to the China Institute for their Lion's Dance. There were abut 100 people waiting on both sides of the street. First out the door were the drummers to scare away the evil spirits, then the lions came out to dance. The lions cavorted, jumped over each other and bowed to the crowd. (If the lion bows to you, you will have good luck for the coming year.)

Then I hopped on the 6 train down to Canal Street. Unlike the Macy's Day Parade, the Lunar New Year Parade travels up and down all the streets of Chinatown. The literature said it would attract 400,000 people. And I would say there were at least that. The narrow streets were packed.

We stood for 2 hours scrunched together with throngs of other parade watchers while confetti and streamers rained down on us. There were bands, floats, and marching cultural organizations. There were martial artists, clowns, a stilt walker and of course, what we had come to see, the lions. Just when I was starting to feel a little cold, bored and hungry the golden dragon roared down the street to everyone's delight.

I loved it. If you are ever near a Chinatown during Chinese New Year, I recommend going to the parade. It was loads of fun. And there is the dim sum and green tea in crowded steamy restaurants to round out the day.

Gung Hay Fat Choy. Happy New Year.


Anonymous said...

Wow. Looks like a good time. Were the crowds really bad. I hate crowds.

Anonymous said...

Great pics! Saw some young Chinese women all dressed up bright yello, handing out pamphlets to the crowds of tourists in Times Square last week. They were publicizing all the upcoming events. PamH