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Chinese New Year Parade - Flushing Queens NYC

Apr 15, 2018 at 05:53 pm by mikewood

Chinese New Year Parade Queens Flushing Chinese New Year Parade Map Times

Queens Chinese New Year Parade & Celebrations in Flushing

The Year 4716, or the Year of the Dog, has Begun

February 19, 2018 / Flushing Neighborhood / Queens Holidays / Flushing Chinese New Year Parade & Celebrations / Queens Buzz NYC.

chinese new year celebrations flushing queens nycOn Saturday I made my way east to Flushing to watch the Chinese New Year parade in Flushing. The Flushing neighborhood of Queens rivals the Chinatown neighborhood in Manhattan for the leading center of Chinese culture in New York City and along the East Coast of the United States.

The photo at right shows a few of the 'dogs' celebrating the year of the dog in the Flushing Chinese New Year Parade.


Flushing Chinese New Year Parade 2018

The parade kicked off at 11 am just east of the Queens Crossing Mall at Main Street and 39th Avenue. They headed south along Union Street, west along Sanford Street, before heading north along Main Street terminating just after passing the Queens Crossing Mall.

Literally thousands participate in the parade itself and likely north of 10,000 spectators come out to watch the grand cultural celebration. Participants march in groups, dressed in traditional costumes, harking back to ancient times. And there were also many floats, which were generally associated with local businesses and organizations.

The Flushing Chinese New Year parade is an evolving cultural event as Korean and Japanese marchers and floats also participate in the parade. And in the last few years I’ve noticed westerners marching dressed in traditional costumes, possibly as cross cultural / Americanized couples and friends join in the fun.

Queens Chinese New Year Parade & Celebrations in Flushing

The Year 4716, or the Year of the Dog, has Begun

February 19, 2018 / Flushing Neighborhood / Queens Holidays / Flushing Chinese New Year Parade & Celebrations / Queens Buzz NYC. Continued.

Origination of the Zodiac & Ancient Chinese Lunar Calendar

flushing neighborhood chinese new year parade queens nycThe Chinese calendar, as it is known today, was believed to have originated during the Han Dynasty in ancient China over 2,000 years ago. The calendar was based upon prior Chinese calendars, but refined. One of the refinements was to pair animal behaviors with human personality traits. Each animal was assigned a month and then a rotating twelfth year. Within the annual rotations, the ancient five elements – wood, fire, water, earth and – were included in the 12 year rotations, so that they would arise again every 60th year [12 years x 5 elements].

These animal / element pairings are embedded in the Chinese zodiac, which appears to have originated either before or in tandem with the Han Chinese calendar. It’s worth mentioning that the western zodiac and Chinese zodiac have important / significant differences.

The photo at right shows the crowd of well-wishers photographing the Flushing Chinese New Year parade in Flushing on Saturday, February 17th, 2018.

Year of the Earth Dog – 4716 & 2018

This year is the year of the Earth Dog. The dog’s characteristics include loyalty, friendliness and kindness. Dogs occupy the 11th position of the 12 position Zodiac / Chinese calendar, and following the 12 sign, the calendar animals repeat the rotation, in a manner similar to the months repeating every year.

This year is an Earth year, which as mentioned above is one of the five ancient elements. Earth denotes grounded domesticity. Dogs are generally earth animals, so this should be a good year for them.

The Chinese Lunar Calendar – Year 4716

chinese new year parade photos flushing queens nycThis year is the Chinese year 4716, indicating that the Chinese calendar began nearly 3,000 years before the death of Christ. The death of Christ [B.C. – before Christ / A.D. after death] is used as the beginning of the Gregorian calendar in the western world. The Gregorian calendar is a solar, or sun-based calendar, meaning its calibrated based on the earth movements around the sun.

The Chinese calendar is a lunar calendar, based on the moon orbits around the earth, of which there are – on average – twelve per year. This is how the Ancients marked time, but over time it became a distorted measure, as every 120 years the calendar would be off by a month.

The Modern World is Run on the Solar / Gregorian Calendar – Year 2018

For solar calendars, we use Leap Year to recalibrate the months with the annual orbiting of the earth around the sun. One ‘extra’ lunar orbit occurs – roughly speaking – a bit less than once per century [Leap Year occurs every 4th year meaning 4 x 30 days in a month = 120 years].

Today, modern China also operates on the western, solar calendar, which had originated as the Gregorian calendar.

Flushing Chinese Restaurants after New Year Parade Ends

flushing restaurants queens nyc dim sum sichuan restaurants flushing nycThe 2018 Flushing Chinese New Year parade ended between 1.30 and 2 pm. The #7 subway was operating, but slowly due to track work, which slowed the arrival of many visitors and may have helped nudge some of them to stay longer and eat, in order to avoid the crowds flocking to the #7 subway trains after the parade had ended.

I decided in favor of staying and walked around checking out a few of the restaurants at the New World Mall. There are a couple of pleasant sit down restaurants on the second floor. One, Spice World, is in the back of the second floor and it offers a traditional Asian ambiance and Sichuan food. The second, Da Xi, is also a popular Flushing Sichuan restaurant. On the third floor of the New World Shopping Mall is the Grand restaurant and banquet hall, which is a very large ballroom style Dim Sum Restaurant.

I then descended to the lower level of the mall, where there’s a whole slew of inexpensive, fast-food style Asian restaurants. The dining tables in the court were full and some of the smells enticing, but I decided to return another day, as I had another reporting assignment to complete in the afternoon. The tables in the food court were generally occupied by families with small children, likely who had just finished watching the parade.

There are a few ongoing Chinese New Year cultural celebrations that will continue over the next couple of weeks in Flushing. Stay tuned via our weekly events posting every Friday.

Here’s wishing you a Happy Dog New Year.

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