Chinatown becomes a very crazy area during Chinese lunar New Year; there is no better place to make a quiet and peaceful girl like me feel like I’m on another continent, not to say in a completely different world.
On January 23rd, I participated with excitement in the Firecracker Ceremony, risking my life walking through the frenzied crowds. People go to this famous celebration to welcome local politicians and other community leaders but above all to watch the renowned cultural performances and animals - mostly dragons this year – dancing in the neighborhood’s main streets and parks. Even if it was raining that day, thousands of people were celebrating, bursting firecrackers everywhere to ward off evil spirits – believe me some people are dangerous with these firecracker - , and squabbling for a place to contemplate the numerous beautiful dragons coming out of houses in almost every corner of Chinatown.
Pictures of the Firecracker Ceremony:
The parade, which was closing the festivities on January 29th, was even busier; I would not recommend it for people suffering from claustrophobia, but for me having the chance to watch this amazing spectacle, featuring marching bands and other Asian musicians, many dancers and Dragons of every type and size was definitely worth being jostled around by the dense crowd.
Pictures of the parade:
About the Chinese population in NYC
At two square miles, New York’s Chinatown is the largest Chinatown in the US. It is also one of the oldest ethnic Chinese enclaves outside of Asia. With a population estimated between 70,000 and 150,000, today’s Chinatown continues to grow rapidly. Other New York Chinese communities were established over the years in other boroughs of the City, for instance in Flushing (Queens) and in Sunset Park (Brooklyn). The Webside NY.com as well as Wikipedia are two excellent resources to learn about the Chinese heritage in NYC.