The Chinese New Year is now upon us. Here is a roundup of how the most colorful cities in the world plan to celebrate the special day.
While it is called the Chinese New Year, this does not mean celebration is confined to China. Many cities all over the world, home to many Asians as well, have also prepared something to usher in the Year of the Monkey, Newsweek reports. London, New York, Sydney, and Paris plan to lavishly welcome the Lunar New Year.
It seems that the British capital plans to host the largest Chinese New Year celebration outside of China. The plans include having a parade from Trafalgar Square to Chinatown. The parade will include colorful dragon dances and martial arts. Asians in London, or others who are just interested to join the festivities can also head to Chiswick House & Gardens for the Magical Lantern Festival, which is already currently running. The festival is presenting beautifully sculpted lanterns for all to see and savor from February 3 to March 6.
New York is holding its own. Finally recognizing that the city is composed of a huge Asian population, Mayor Bill de Blasio marked the Lunar New Year as a school holiday. This is the first time in the city's history. Festivities include a Firecracker ceremony at Sara D. Roosevelt Park, a Lunar Parade at the streets of Lower Manhattan, and fireworks at the Hudson River.
Sydney plans to welcome the Chinese New Year with its Lunar Lanterns. Twelve big and colorful lanterns will be installed across the city, trailing across the Sydney Harbor, the central business district, and then Chinatown.
Interestingly, the lanterns are not just ordinary ones. They also represent each of the Chinese zodiac signs. Organizers have already announced that everyone will be delighted and amazed by the lanterns.
Paris will welcome the Chinese New Year with a grand parade, which will again take place at the 13th arrondissement. The parade starts at the Avenue D'Ivry and ends at the south-central Paris.
The parade, always such a sight to behold and an experience to cherish, will feature different dancers, dragons, and drummers.
Asian Americans reportedly celebrate Chinese New Year less because of traditional, superstitious beliefs, but because it is something that reinforces their identities. They also feel that their identities need to be respected and enriched. "There's a surge of confidence and pride in Asian American culture right now," said Minji Chang, executive director of Kollaboration, an Asian entertainment collective and talent show told LA Times. "We're not just standing around learning lion dancing. We're pursuing our own art and creating our own stuff."