The Lunar New Year was celebrated with the annual Dragon Parade along Main Street in Flushing Queens, NY this past Saturday. The sidewalks were crammed with this neighborhood’s Chinese and Korean Americans. The air was filled with the cries of Happy New Year, the scenery was festooned in vibrant spring colors of red, gold, yellow, green, pink, and blue and the streets were strewn with golden confetti. A plethora of cultural, community and spiritual banners were proudly on display as well as brilliant flags and diaphanous streamers. People and marchers alike waved and shouted to each other as the excitement built for the moment when the Dragon, the symbol of power and strength, would make its brilliant and ferocious appearance.

A gasp and cry from the crowd signaled the arrival of that beautiful basilisk with gold and red scales and razor-sharp teeth. Coiling and undulating through the throngs of people who eagerly stretched their hands out to touch the dragon for good luck. Equally lucky were the giant green and yellow snakes, their sinuous bodies swirling in the wake of  their big cousin. There were luminous dancers, dazzling drummers, flashy musicians and festive floats covered in a froth of bubbly balloons. A group of young martial artists thrilled the crowd with their daring prowess. Children squealed as a giant blue bug-eyed Tiger, the symbol of power and wealth, would playfully roar in their faces.

The parade came to an end but, the celebration went on down a narrow street where chains and disks of red firecrackers were lit and culminated in a deafening machine gun like explosion to the delight of all that witnessed it.

Xīnnián kuàilè

(sshin-nyen kwhy-ler)

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9 thoughts on “The Dragon’s Dance

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