Chinese New Year Parade 2012 Photos
February 6, 2012 / Flushing / Ethnic & Religious Culture / Queens Buzz. I attended the year of the dragon Chinese New Year Parade in Flushing on Saturday, February 4th. It’s easily one of the best Queens parades because the Chinese and Koreans put a lot of effort into a sensory pleasing, cultural mélange, that includes beautiful costumes, melodic music and aesthetic theater.
Thousands participate in the parade, which first began in Flushing in 1997. In 2011 the parade starting welcoming non-Asian participation, and hence last year it was interesting to watch someone of mixed ethnic descent, run as one the leads of one of the dragon dance teams. The dragon dance teams in the Flushing New Year Parade vary, as in China, from a two member team to as many as ten or fifteen. Legend has it, that the longer the parade dragon, the greater the luck for the year.
Click here to read more about our report and view photos of the Chinese New Year Parade 2012 in Flushing Queens.
Chinese New Year Parade 2012 Photos
Reflects Evolving Chinese & Korean American Community
Continued. February 6, 2012 / Flushing / Ethnic & Religious Culture / Queens Buzz. As I watched the parade this year, I began contemplating how the parade reflects the evolving Chinese Korean American community in the Flushing neighborhood. As I watched the parade I paid more notice to the lettering or characters of the signs in the parade, to discern between the Chinese and Korean floats and participants. And as I did so, I began to see a story unfold, about life in ancient China and Korea, as well as about the Chinese / Korean American community of Flushing.
Korean & Chinese Immigration Into Flushing - 1950 -2011
There was a significant Korean immigration into the Flushing area following World War II and the Korean War in the 1950’s. Many Koreans decided it would be safer and more prosperous to move to America. Hence today, many of the Koreans in the area are second and third generation Americans.
The Chinese in the Flushing area came from both Taiwan and mainland China, but at separate times and in separate waves. Many of the Taiwanese starting immigrating here decades ago, in the 1960’s and 1970’s, as they too sought to earn and live the American dream in lieu of living with the uncertainty of the future in their native lands.
The mainland Chinese started coming in the mid 1990’s. After China opened its doors to the western world many Chinese started immigrating here, again to seek a better way of life, which for many of them was to live in a land where one was free to practice their own beliefs.
Chinese New Year Parade - Floats & Participants
The floats were a reflection of both the ancient traditions of the homeland, as well as a recent history reflecting largely Korean Americans participation in American life today. One of the ancient traditions is the dragon dance I described in the introduction; and one of the modern reflections was a banner carried by those who had served in the American military during the Vietnam War.
Thousands Watch Flushing Parade - Crowds Grow
Like last year, due to agreeable weather, there were easily over ten thousand people in attendance at the parade. It was fairly crowded along Main Street, but still passable, and there was still plenty of room along Union Street and Sanford Avenue.
The parade had an interesting mix of periods of quiet, music and some western-style rowdiness. One of the things I noticed is that the parade participants were of all ages. While American culture seems to glorify youth, many Asian cultures hold to a tradition of revering the old. Perhaps we both could learn from each other.
Each year the Chinese New Year Parade in Flushing changes ever so slightly, as does the Chinese Korean American community in Flushing. Best wishes for the luck of the dragon in the Happy New Year of 4709. Or as they say in Chinese Gong Xi Fa Cai.
Use the search box in the header of this site to view reports and photos from prior years of the parade. Also click into the Flushing neighborhood to view stories about Flushing, including one about Chinese cultural exhibits at Flushing Town Hall. You can also use the Business Directory for telephone and website links to Flushing businesses. And you can use the search function to look for maps of businesses and cultural / historic sites in Flushing.
Photos - Chinese New Year Parade in Flushing 2012
The following slide show contains over 100 photos of the Chinese New Year Parade Flushing 2012.
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