Lunar New Year celebrations were in full gear in Brooklyn this past weekend.
On Sunday, March 4, it was Bensonhurst’s turn to celebrate the Year of the Dog as the Chinese American Social Services (CASS) Center hosted its Lunar New Year parade in the neighborhood.
“Even though March wind storms came in roaring like a lion, it did not deter Chinese American Social Services Center’s 2018 Lunar New Year Parade down 18th Avenue,” wrote CASS, a local not-for-profit organization, on Facebook. “Our secret? We had two lions as performed by Brooklyn’s finest Master Ying’s studio. Thank you, everyone.”
Joining the parade that went along 18th Avenue from 65th to 80th Streets were area residents, local merchants, members of the 62nd Precinct, and DSNY, NYPD and FDNY personnel.
Attendees enjoyed themselves.
“We had a great time and a blast celebrating the holiday with our community and elected official offices,” wrote an attendee via Facebook.
CASS first opened at 124 Avenue U in September, 2015 “to assist Kings County residents by assembling and disseminating social services information, especially to those whose first language is not English,” according to its Facebook page.
That same day, over at New Utrecht High School, State Senator Marty Golden hosted his annual Lunar New York event at New Utrecht High School, 1601 80th Street.
The celebration was complete with performances by local kids and theater groups as well as the traditional performance of the lion dance.
The yearly tradition has been an opportunity for families to enjoy a day of celebrating Chinese culture by dressing up, singing, dancing and digging in to traditional food. This time was no different.
“When I come here and say ‘Gung Hay Fat Choy,’ it’s because I mean it and you deserve it,” Golden told the big crowd. “Chinatown Brooklyn is number one. Chinatown Queens is number two. We’re on fire and we’re moving up. We are going to continue to work with our Chinese American community and tonight we have great performances here by all the different schools and agencies. We have 20 different agencies here today. We have almost 40 different dance troops, almost 40 different sponsors. This is really something that has grown over the years and over 1,000 people will come and go today thanks to this great event for the Asian community here in Brooklyn.”
There was also a lucky raffle to benefit International Disaster Relief.
“We are acting charitably in our celebration today,” he said. “I want to wish each of you a blessed New Year. It’s all about these children and future of our communities.”
Also on Sunday, March 4, Sunset Park held its Annual Lantern Festival on Eighth Avenue from 53rd to 55th Street, hosted by the Brooklyn Chinese American Association.
“The Lantern Festival was great success today in Sunset Park,” tweeted the 72nd Precinct.