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Manhattan’s Chinatown marks Lunar New Year

NEW YORK (AP) — Dragons took a starring role at the Lunar New Year parade in Manhattan’s historic Chinatown on Sunday — it’s the Year of the Dragon, after all — as hundreds of revellers filled the cold clear air with the sound of drums, cymbals and puffs of confetti.

Lions and red lanterns were interspersed with around a dozen groups displaying traditional dragon puppets, which stretched up to 20 metres long, in interconnected segments held by up to 11 people walking beneath.

Two people also held up a giant golden picture frame with the Chinese character for “Dragon” on a red background.

Other staples of the parade included a waves of red lanterns, a file of classic cars, as well as formations by local civic organisations, businesses, New York City agencies, and politicians. Many marchers yelled “Happy New Year” in English, mixing in traditional greetings in Mandarin and Cantonese wishing financial prosperity.

Asian communities across the world started ringing in the Lunar New Year on February 10, celebrating the Year of the Dragon in the Chinese zodiac. Fireworks, parades and other Lunar New Year rituals are centered around removing bad luck and welcoming prosperity.

In New York, there have already been major celebrations in larger Chinese immigrant enclaves in Queens and Brooklyn. While the symbolic new lunar cycle ended earlier this week with the full moon, Manhattan’s parade was scheduled for the weekend.

Revellers gather to attend the parade for the Chinese New Year “The Dragon” in the Chinatown neighbourhood of Manhattan, Sunday, in New York. PHOTO: AP
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