I went 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, but ironically because this is the year of the dragon there were in fact a few costumes with dragon heads instead of lions – like the photos in this blog.
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 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)!!
written by jeffr on 2012-01-26