恭喜发财!!! Huddled warm and cozy in our winter coats, we ventured up Forsyth Street passing the bustle of busy shops and enjoying the intoxication of baked bread and sugary pastries. We made our way to Sara Roosevelt Park which swelled with a boisterous colorful crowd of squealing children, excited parents and costumed merrymakers dressed up as red roosters (to celebrate the Year of the Rooster!).
The Lunar New Year festivities actually last 15 days, and well into the New Year!
- Day 1 is the day of the first full moon of the new year and is the most widely celebrated across the globe and by different Asian cultures!
- Day 2 is also known as Cai Shen and marks the birthday of the God of Wealth.
- Day 3 and Day 4 is actually considered a day of bad luck so suspicious families refrain from visiting each other.
- Day 5 is dumpling day!!! Some cultures celebrate Guan Yu, a famous general who is considered a Taoist god of war, by throwing firecrackers into the night sky.
- Day 6 is when the back luck officially ends and families can visit each other again!
- Day 7 is a day of prosperity – usually families come together to share big meals!
- Day 8 is another day for big family dinners as traditional Chinese families celebrate and honor Yu Huang, the Ruler of Heaven.
- Day 9 is the birthday of the Jade Emperor which is especially important for Chinese populations celebrating in Malaysia.
- Day 10 is a day of continued festivities for the Jade Emperor.
- Day 11-13 are for continued celebrations.
- Day 14 is for the Lantern Festival!
- Day 15 is a day of romance (love notes scribbled on oranges) and the last day of the Chinese New Year Celebrations!
After collecting our customary celebratory paraphernalia – mostly lots of paper firecrackers and paper mache roosters – we located a small corner bend on the parade route and set up camp as the NYPD set up the barricades and cleared out the streets. Children squeezed through through crowds to press their faces between the steel rails to get a closer look still! Then came the deliciously extravagant and festive line- up of parade participants including the dancing dragons, dancing lions, dancing roosters and dancing red lanterns 🇨🇳👏👌🐔! What a day! 恭喜发财!!!