Volume 21, Number 38 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | January 30 - February 5, 2009

Chinatown Dragon

Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess

Dragon dancers were out for the beginning of Chinatown’s Lunar New Year celebrations Monday as a warm-up to the big parade Sunday. Firecrackers also helped ring in the Year of the Ox. The traditional Lunar New Year greeting, gung hay fat choy or best wishes for a prosperous new year, is no doubt the desire on nearby Wall St., although brokers may also be hoping the animal thing is not taken too literally since an ox, after all, is a castrated bull.

Chinatown bullish on oxen

Chinatown will be partying like its 4707 as it celebrates the Year of the Ox in the annual Lunar New Year Parade Sunday.

The colorful festivities are expected to draw a crowd of a few hundred thousand as the parade snakes through Downtown on Sun., Feb. 1 from noon – 3 p.m. The route will start at Hester and Mott Sts., move to Chatham Square, East Broadway and then Allen St. Artists and entertainers will be at a cultural festival throughout the day at the parade’s last stop on Grand and Chrystie Sts.

There will also be lion and dragon dances at Mott St. from noon to 5 p.m. next weekend on Sun., Feb. 8. The Lantern Festival will close the celebrations on Feb. 9 at 1 p.m. on Market St. between East Broadway and Henry St.

The new year began Monday with the traditional firecrackers, intended to ward off evil spirits. According to ancient Chinese horoscopes, Ox years tend to be stable. People born in the Year of the Ox, a group which includes President Obama, are said to be honest and charismatic.

— Candida L. Figueroa





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