Lunar New Year Parade in Chinatown // Китайский Новый Год в Нью-Йорке

Watching a New Year parade in Chinatown was always on my “Things to do in NYC” list, and this year I finally found myself right in the middle of the celebration.

NYC Chinatown paradeChinatown parade 2015

In Russia, Chinese New Year is a big deal. There are no official parades, and people celebrate it too early (the celebration is bundled with the calendar New Year on December 31st – January 1st), but everyone takes it very seriously, especially when it comes to Chinese Zodiac signs. Everyone knows what animal is the symbol of the year they were born, and the newspapers always publish both astrological and lunar horoscopes. My mom and I are both dragons, we were born 24 years apart, and I always loved that we shared the same sign.

Chinese New Year ParadeLunar New Year LionChinatown Lunar New Year NYC

People are all about the animal symbols in Russia. Every December TV and the press start talking about the next year’s animal sign, what everyone should wear for the New Year’s dinner to please them and even what to serve on the table.

For example: 2015 is a year of The Green Wooden Ram, so it only makes sense to wear green, blue, purple and turquoise, and to give preference to natural fabrics such as velvet, suede, wool and cashmere. The dinner should be vegetarian — meat dishes might offend the Ram. Make sure to serve lots of fresh fruit, veggies, leafy greens, berries… I’m not making any of this up! I simply googled “How to celebrate the year of the Ram” in Russian and clicked on the first link for these tips.

The Year of the Ram paradeLunar New Year Parade in Chinatown

This year, I caught a glimpse of how people in the U.S. celebrate the Lunar New Year. The day couldn’t have been any better! After all of the gloomy, frosty weeks, the day glowed with sunshine, the birds were signing, everything was melting and it finally felt like spring might actually come. The snow-melting rays were so efficient that my feet were soaking wet by the end of the parade, and I even managed to dip the hem of my dress into a puddle when I sat down to take photos of the running dragons (totally worth it!)

chinatown_parade13Chinese New Year DragonsChinatown Parade

One of the things I discovered was the Chinese lion dance. Many of the giant furry animals dancing at the parade–often mistakenly referred to as dragons–are actually lions! Apparently, a lion is normally operated by two dancers, while a dragon needs many people.

Lunar New Year Parade LionNYC Chinatown paradeLion Dance

After the parade we walked a few blocks down for a lunch at Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles. Their duck soup and dumplings really hit the spot, we couldn’t even finish most of it. Like most of the restaurants in the area, they are cash-only, but I highly recommend this place for big hot meal on a winter day!

Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodleschinatown_parade14

P.S. I love living in New York City because I get to see more of my friends who live far away. Everyone comes to or through the city all the time for business, on their way to or from vacation, or just to visit New York, and luckily I just so happen to be here. Our friends from Washington, Amanda and Brian, were in the city this week, and we spent an amazing day eating, laughing and photographing the celebrations.

Мне всегда очень хотелось попасть на парад в честь Лунного Нового Года в Чайнатауне (Китай-городе) в Нью-Йорке. В прошлое воскресенье мне это наконец удалось! С погодой нам тоже невероятно повезло, после долгих пасмурных и промозглых недель выглянуло солнце, по улицам побежали ручейки, птицы запели на деревьях, и к праздничному настроению добавилась надежда на скорый приход весны.

Главным открытием дня для меня стал китайский танец льва, а именно его отличие от танца дракона. Оказывается, львом всегда управляют два человека, находящихся внутри фигуры. Базовые движения танца могут быть найдены в большинстве китайских боевых искусств.

Для танца дракона же нужна целая команда людей, которая иногда достигает 50 человек. Держа на шестах дракона, они двигаются таким образом, что дракон совершает волнообразные движения.

После парада мы пошли обедать в маленький ресторанчик китайской лапши, где заказали лагман с уткой (суп с тянутой вручную лапшой) и китайские пельмени, которые этой зимой мы едим почти каждую неделю. Как и в большинстве заведений Чайнатауна, порции у Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles очень большие, а расчёт они проводят только наличными.

На этом день не закончился, мы ещё долго гуляли по Манхэттену с друзьями, даже ужинали донатами, но это уже другая история. Китайский Новый Год удался на славу!