Parading Dragons and Lions

Lunar New Year Parade in Chinatown

The Lunar New Year Parade is a lively and colorful annual celebration of the start of the Chinese lunar calendar in New York’s Chinatown. It is an explosion of Chinese traditions, lion dancers, dragon dancers, color and confetti that are enjoyed by locals and tourists alike, and definitely worth experiencing if you are in New York for it.

In 2023, the parade was on 12th February, capping many weeks of celebrations in Chinatown. I got really lucky with a great spot to watch the parade kick off by the NYPD band at 1pm, followed by NYPD officers and their families. As you can see below, the streets were lined full of people on either side of Mott Street, which is where the parade began.

Lion Dancers

Next up were the lion dancers, which had photographers swarming all over them even in the middle of the parade route, which was disappointing as there was never a clear view of them without photographers – or should I say paparazzi – in the way. The lion dance is said to chase away evil spirits and bring good luck to the community. The lion dancers were real crowd pleasers, with people cheering them on from the second they made an appearance.

Dragon Dancers

In the video above, you also see the dragon dancers, which were amazing! There were several people carrying a long dragon puppet that made its way up, down and around the parade route, following a person that was leading with a ball on a baton kind of instrument in his hand. The dragon is said to bring good luck and prosperity to those who see it, and I hope it does just by drawing you in to read this post, and my blog!

The streets of Chinatown were filled with vendors selling traditional Chinese foods, drinks, and souvenirs. On display too were lots of rabbits and rabbit ears given this year celebrates the Year of the Rabbit.

All in all, going for this parade to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit earlier today was a great way to kick off Superbowl Sunday, which in the US is the largest sports day of the year by far. I am writing this post right before heading out to enjoy the Superbowl between Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles being streamed live in Times Square for the first time ever! There is never truly a dull day in New York.


Hanit GyaniAuthor posts

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Hi, I'm Hanit Gyani, a full time professional by day and a blogger by night and weekend. Welcome to my blog, aka my passion project, Gotta Love New York.

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