Lunar New Year kicks off in New York’s Chinatown

World Today

The Chinese Lunar New Year has kicked off in the western hemisphere and Asian communities in the U.S. are celebrating.
New York City is home to the largest ethnic Chinese community in America.
So not surprisingly firecrackers and lion dances marked a roaring start to the year of the sheep.

CCTV’s Liling Tan filed this report from New York City.

Lunar New Year kicks off in New York\'s Chinatown

Lunar New Year kicks off in New York\'s Chinatown

The Chinese Lunar New Year has kicked off in the western hemisphere and Asian communities in the U.S. are celebrating. New York City is home to the largest ethnic Chinese community in America. So not surprisingly firecrackers and lion dances marked a roaring start to the year of the sheep. CCTV’s Liling Tan filed this report from New York City.

For hundreds of people crowded in New York’s Chinatown, there’s no other way to start the year than with the clap of firecrackers, the pounding of drums and the clanging of symbols. It’s a vibrant start to what many say will be a calmer, gentler year of the sheep.

“Sheep are usually more nice, quiet, not as strong personality so I guess for people will be more relaxed this year,” Steven Tin, Executive Director, Better Chinatown said.

New Yorkers and visitors to the city packed Chinatown’s Roosevelt Park, braving the cold on day one of festivities which run for 2 weeks.

People braved the frigid weather to be a part of the Lunar New Year celebrations that first kicked off with the firecracker show but this is just one in a series of events that will be taking place over the next few days.

Sunday, lion and dragon dancers will herd crowds through the streets of Chinatown, in the annual Lunar New Year parade. Then, for the first time ever, the celebrations will end with a lantern festival in neighboring Brooklyn.

“We want to promote our Chinese-American culture to the main stream and to our second and third-generation Chinese-Americans,” Tin said.

Holding on to an age-old tradition, in a New York style.