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Chinese New Year Parade Queens

The Year of the Snake is Good for Business

chinese new year parade in queens crowdsUpdated March 10, 2013 / February 4, 2013 / Flushing / Chinese Culture in Queens / Queens Buzz. I have become a big fan of the Chinese New Year Parade in Flushing. Some reporters have estimated that about 4,000 people march in the parade, but we’re beginning to believe that this number is inflated. And we estimate that north of 10,000 people come to watch it. In the years I’ve been covering the parade, it seems that each year the crowd gets larger. But thankfully, there’s still plenty of space to find a good viewing location, because the parade route spans between one and two miles.

This year I gained a little deeper understanding of the Chinese New Year traditions, as fell into a conversation about them with a former resident of Shanghai, who recently immigrated here. She told me about some of the traditions that accompany the Chinese New Year celebrations.

Click here to read the rest of our report about and photos of the Chinese New Year Parade in Flushing, including a photo slide show. Story & photos by Michael Wood.


Chinese New Year Parade Queens

Insights Into Some Of The Chinese New Year Traditions

Updated March 10, 2013 / February 4, 2013 / Flushing / Chinese Culture in Queens / Queens Buzz. Continued. The woman’s name was Amy who is a dental assistant and she told me that chinese new year parade fireworks in queensthe Chinese New Year celebrations run for 15 days. The first day is all about the family. Families thoroughly clean their house to ‘sweep away bad luck’ and firecrackers are lit in the evening to scare away the evil spirits.

Chinese New Year Parade Fireworks In Queens

In the Queens Chinese New Year parade, I occasionally encountered some fireworks during the procession. And after the parade was over, there was a long fireworks demonstration at Queens Crossing Mall. The fireworks at Queens Crossing Mall weren’t that much to see [see photos at end of slide show], but made a great, long, loud crackling sound that went on for between several and ten minutes. Although I know very little about the subject, it seemed to me that they did a very good job of scaring away the evil spirits this year.

Symbolism Of Color In Chinese Culture - Flushing & Queens

Colors are important in Chinese tradition. Red and symbolism of red yellow colors in chinese cultureyellow colors are used during the Chinese New Year celebrations as they represent good luck [red] and nourishment [yellow]. Yellow is considered the color of the deities [possibly from the color of the sun from ancient times] and persons of high social standing, such as the emperors of historic times.

In the parade there was a panoply of red and gold color, which you can see in the photos. The dragons were generally red and gold and it’s been said that the longer the parade dragon, the better luck one would have in the new year. There were several long dragons in this years parade.

Chinese Culture In Queens - Chinese Traditions

During days two and three of the Chinese New Year, one extends the celebration to close relatives and friends. On the second day, one leaves the home to visit close relatives like uncles, aunts and cousins and / or receives them. And on the third day one visits more distant relatives and close friends. On the fifth day the Chinese celebrate the New Year with the entire community, and this celebration continues for the remainder of the fifteen days.

Chinese Lantern Festival In Queens

The last day of the Chinese New Year ends with the lantern festival. During the lantern lantern festival in queensfestival, which is timed to coincide with the full moon, children used to take lanterns to the temples where the final communal New Year celebration takes place. We would see some women carrying lanterns in the parade, symbolizing this tradition.

The Chinese New Year continues to be based on the lunar calendar, and we are in the year 4710. By subtracting the 2013 years of the western, solar Gregorian calendar from the Chinese calendar, we can estimate that Chinese society began measuring time in the year 2697 B.C. [which signifies ‘Before Christ’ was born]. This is not exact, as western society currently operates on a solar calendar, and the Chinese years are based on a lunar calendar which I understand has been modified.

 

Happy New Year Of The Snake 4710 / 2013 - Queens NY

Lastly, this is the year of the Snake, which is said to be good for business. So as they say in China, 新年好 ‘Sin Yen How’ or Happy New Year.

Click here to read more about our report about the Chinese New Year Parade in Flushing Queens 2013.


Chinese New Year Parade in Queens Photos - 2013

Click here to go to the album containing photos of the Chinese New Year Parade in Queens.


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