Running with the Lions in Chinatown

Running with the Lions in Chinatown(February 4, 2017) Lion dance performers prowled the streets of Chinatown, searching for New Year hong paos while followed by the sound of traditional drums, gongs and cymbals. ‘Year of the Rooster’ celebrations in New York City continued, winding their way through side-streets, local businesses and restaurants.

Many of the troupes that participate in the lion dance tradition are associated to martial arts schools. Their style of dance is usually reflective of the colors, drumming, and techniques used in their performance.

The parading lions bring goodwill and luck to everyone they meet. However, they can make things messy, too. After the lions eat the red envelopes with money gifts (meant as a donation to the school), they spread good luck by spitting out fresh greens and fruit (usually cabbages and oranges). Beside good luck, this expulsion also symbolizes a fresh start for the New Year – a Chinese despojo, in a way.

Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations run through February 15, 2017.

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Francisco Molina Reyes II Photography
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