The Unbearable Banishment: Kung hay fat choy <i>redux</i>

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Kung hay fat choy redux

Tomorrow marks the end of the Chinese New Year celebration. In New York City, it culminates in the Lunar New Year Parade & Festival in Chinatown. I usually attend but won't be able to, so I've decided to do the lazy thing and rerun last year's post for those who might have missed it.

Happy New Year!

* * *

Nurse H and I took a trip down to Chinatown to help our Chinese friends ring in the New Year. It’s 4707—the year of the Ox.

The Chinese New Year celebration lasts 15 days. You’re not supposed to say anything negative about anyone for 15 days. That’s quite a challenge, especially in a place as opinionated as New York City!

We strolled up and down Mott Street and watched the dragons parade. The dragons are followed by a team of percussionists. They dance at the entrance of each merchant. To ward off bad luck, the merchant ignites a firework that shoots a big wad of confetti into the air that frightens the dragon away. He then hands a red envelope filled with cash through the mouth of the dragon.

Sometimes, the dragons are invited into the restaurants to parade. I was in the middle of a big plate of beef chow fun and a dragon came in and tried to eat the proprietor.

Mott Street is closed to vehicular traffic and it becomes a big pedestrian mall. (That’s Nurse H in the blue hat.)


Blogger Barlinnie said...

I cannae say that I am very au fait with any of the Chinese New Year celebrations. But the colours of the very small Chinese Quarter in Glesga are indeed pleasant to view.

February 21, 2010 at 4:29 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Jimmy, I don't mean to sound so ignorant, but I am sincerely shocked to hear that there's a Chinese Quarter in Glesga. I just never imagined it.

February 21, 2010 at 9:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a Chinatown in every major Canadian city and yet, I don't recall ever seeing a Chinese New Year parade.

Nice pics, UB.

PS: I might find it exceedingly difficult to go for 15 days without saying something bad about someone.

February 21, 2010 at 9:43 AM  
Blogger Ellie said...

I love the idea of not saying anything bad about anyone for such a long time. I don't know if I could do it.

February 21, 2010 at 4:21 PM  
Blogger Here In Franklin said...

Chinese New Year is like a vacation for Husband. All his business dealings there are put on hold for days.

February 21, 2010 at 6:56 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Rob: Even Cleveland, where I grew up, had a small Chinatown. I should think globally instead of stopping at the Hudson River.

Ellie: It is a nice sentiment and very Buddhist in practice. You should try it!

HIF: He must know a lot about Asian culture. I'll bet he's an interesting dinner guest.

February 21, 2010 at 8:34 PM  

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