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Enter the Dragon: Celebrating Chinese New Year in NYC

This year was my first time in many years attending the festivities in Chinatown, NYC for Chinese New Year. I was really excited to to go because it's also my first time since I've really dived into analogue photography and Lomography.

Photo by jeffr

I went to Chinatown equipped with my Holga 120N, Yashica D, and Agfa Karat IV ready to shoot away. On Chinese New Year, there are always lion dances – a traditional dance in which two performers wear a lion costume and move like lions. Usually these lions are confused for dragons

The amazing thing about going to see the lion dances parade through Chinatown is that this is no ordinary parade (in which the streets are closed down and the onlookers stand behind barriers on the sidewalk). Anybody is able to literally follow the lions and dragons around Chinatown. This is what I did of course while snapping photos!

They go from storefront to storefront performing the ritual dance in order to “scare away the demons” and bring good luck and good fortune to these stores or restaurants. And all the while, they’re accompanied by live percussion music – drums, cymbals, and gongs.

If you missed out on the festivities that happened last Monday, it’s not too late to see more. If you’re in NYC, come to Chinatown on Sunday, January 29th at 11am. There will be a big parade starting at Canal Street and Mott Street along with other festivities. Don’t forget to bring your camera(s)! And why not try redscale cause red is the Chinese lucky color!

Photo by jeffr

written by jeffr


  1. Thanks for this photo reportage, It is National Geographic's worth! I enjoyed very much your red scale shot. Did you do it with the Yashica D? I am intrigued by this camera with two good lenses! It's a classic!

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  2. jeffr


    Robert, thanks very much for your kind words! I did take the red scale shots in this article with my Yashica D. I love the camera very much! :)

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