QUEENS, N.Y. – The Chinese Lunar New Year is the happiest day of the year. As one of New York City’s largest Chinese communities, Flushing knows how to throw a Lunar New Year Party.
“It makes me really happy,” a parade-goer said.
Main Street dripped with bright tones of red, the color of luck and prosperity. Cars waited patiently for thousands of pedestrians gathering for the parade.
While the streets hummed with the sounds of drums and dragons, most businesses were closed — except for those serving food.
The three mainstays of the holiday are fireworks, family, and a delicious feast. And the food in Flushing simmered and sizzled; Peking roast duck, to pork buns, sweet and sour pork, the smell of Sunday dinner wafted through the air block after block.
“One main dish a lot of people have is dumplings,” an attendee said. “So, the process of making it yourself and making it with them together is like really special.”
Parents will stuff small red envelopes, or “hong bao,” with cash, as a treat for the little ones who’ve waited all year to pull out the traditional trappings of their ancestral homeland, including outfits worn by the Hun people, which is the majority ethnic group in China.
This Lunar New Year, it’s the year of the Dragon, a symbol of power helping people transition from a cold winter to spring, their hearts fill with hope.
The holiday is celebrated by 1 billion people around the world, who all believe this year will be special and significant and the beginning of a new chapter.