Flushing Celebrates Year Of The Tiger
More than 4,000 people gathered in the heart of Flushing on February 20 for the 14th annual Lunar New Year Parade as New York City’s second largest Chinatown celebrated the start of the Year of the Tiger. The most celebrated holiday in China and other East Asian cultures, the Lunar New Year resembles Christmas in Western societies in that families exchange gifts and food plays a major part in the festivities.
The parade began at 11 a.m. on Union Street and 37th Avenue in front of the 109th Police Precinct and ended at Main Street and 39th Avenue. The highlight of the New Year celebrations in Flushing, the parade featured dragon dancers, steel drummers and fireworks. Firecrackers, also part of the tradition, were exploded to ward off evil spirits and allow good fortune to prevail. Numerous East Asian groups from China, Korea and Indonesia and headquartered in Queens made appearances. Also marching were the Korean War Veterans of Long Island.
Many local venues and restaurants all celebrated the New Year in their own special way. The Flushing branch of the Queens Borough Public Library, 137-35 Northern Blvd., held a daylong celebration that began with arts, crafts and a Chinese red lantern-making workshop. Lessons on food preparation and sampling of such traditional specialties as Chinese dumplings and Korean rice cakes were also on offer.
Local residents packed the Szechwan Gourmet, 135-15 37th Ave., to dine on traditional dishes popping with fiery Szechwan peppercorns, minced pork dan-dan noodles and fish filets covered in a blanket of ground chili peppers.
The Korean contingent celebrated at Korea Village's Open Center, 150-24 Northern Blvd. at 150th Street, partaking of food, games, dancing, martial arts, music and a karaoke contest.
Guang Zhou, 136-59 37th Ave., served dim sum, steamed pork and shrimp dumplings, blanched Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce and chicken with rice tucked inside lotus leaves.
White Bear, 135-02 Roosevelt Ave. at Prince Street, served petite hot chili oil wontons.
Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd. at Linden Place, is hosting a Lunar New Year Festival through February that includes the exhibit, “Tigers in the House” displaying masks, prints and crafts that were created by Chinese artists from New York, California and China.
For more information, visit www.flushingtownhall.org or www.flushingbid.com.