PHOTOS: Year of the Rooster kicks off on Eighth Avenue in Sunset Park

Sunday, January 29 was awash with gold and red as the Asian community in Brooklyn marked the start of the Lunar New Year with a festive parade along Eighth Avenue.

Kicking off at 11 a.m., the parade – organized by the Brooklyn Chinese-American Association — marched for 11 blocks starting at the grandstand at 50 Street and finishing at 61st Street. Community leaders attended, as did local elected officials including Assemblymembers Felix Ortiz and Peter Abbate, and City Councilmember Carlos Menchaca.

Among the highlights of the festivities – attended by some 50,000 people — was the lion dance, performed in front of various businesses, and meant to bring good fortune to the stores along the commercial strip for the year.

In addition, fireworks were set off to scare evil spirits and complete a ritual cleansing both in homes and places of work.

The parade this year marks the Year of the Rooster.

In its 29th year, the parade has become a symbol of unity in the Asian community and an educational experience for other residents of Brooklyn.

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