Gung Hay Fat Choy!
Friday, January 31 marked the start of the Year of the [Wood] Horse and 15 days of Lunar New Year celebrations, which for Brooklyn’s Asian community, meant a weekend full of parades, music and dance performances, games, costumes and more.
The public festivities kicked off on Saturday, February 1 inside P.S. 310, where hundreds of people gathered for the Chinese-American Planning Council’s (CPC) afternoon of lion dances, a kids traditional costume contest, Chinese riddles, games, performances, raffles and snacks.
The next day, thousands of people thronged Eighth Avenue between 50th and 60th Streets in Sunset Park for the 27th Annual Chinese New Year Celebration Parade, hosted by the Brooklyn Chinese-American Association (BCA).
Dozens of elected officials joined BCA Executive Director Paul Mak and local schoolchildren for the performances—a mix of American children’s songs and traditional Chinese songs and dances.
Mak and BCA were also thanked for their work on behalf of Brooklyn’s steadily growing Chinese American and immigrant community, who have gained recognition through community activism and the election of prominent city leaders such as Queens Congressmember Grace Meng, Councilmember Margaret Chin, Former Comptroller John Liu and former NYPD Brooklyn South Chief Thomas Cha, now the head of the NYPD’s Community Affairs Bureau.
Lunar New Year, also commonly referred to as Chinese New Year, is also being considered as an official school holiday for city and state schools, as years of activism have begun to gain traction.
According to the Chinese calendar, this is the year 4712, the Year of the Wood Horse. It is said to be a year of change, as well as stubbornness, staying true to your principles, and patience. People born in the Year of the Horse have birth years of 2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966, 1954, 1942, 1930 and 1918.