Chinese New Year Parade in New York’s Chinatown

If the temperature here in New York had remained as cold as it was during the week, I would not have gone to the Chinese New Year Parade in Chinatown on Sunday.

As it turned out, it was a welcome 53 degrees around the 1:00 p.m. start time for the parade, and a still balmy 43 degrees – warmer that it was in Denver (21) and Seattle (41) – when Super Bowl 48 kicked off in the evening. (Snow started late Sunday night and continued into Monday and we got snow overnight last night. As one of my friends said, God is a Super Bowl fan! That was her explanation for the wacky weather we’ve had.)

But before I show you those, let’s take a look at some of the ones I took the day before.

We were in Chinatown for a morning food tour  and after the tour, we followed the sounds of firecrackers to a side street off Mott. About a block long, it was so crowded with people that drivers took other streets. At one point, a police car cruised through, the officer using his loudspeaker to tell everyone that the street was not closed. Some minutes later, someone put up yellow tape, effectively creating a pedestrian-only block.

Almost everyone was setting off these long, colorful cardboard tubes that you see. They pop when you twist them and shoot confetti. It looked like too much fun not to get involved. So we bought 4 for $10 and joined in. Soon we had confetti in our hair, on our clothes. I’m still cleaning up bits of it at home.

Chinese New Year Parade Day

I arrived at the intersection of Canal and Mott Street around 11:30 a.m. and was surprised to see this group had already assembled there. My first thought was to watch the Parade from here but eventually it got crowded and the police officers put up barricades. You can’t move once you get behind the barricade, so I continued on Mott and looked for a spot that had fewer people. It was also near to one of the restaurants I wanted to try.

Chinese New Year Parade in New York's Chinatown
Assembling before the Parade

There were still lots of empty places at that end of Mott to watch the Parade after I had lunch. My timing was perfect – the 15th Chinatown New Year Parade started about ten minutes after I found my spot. I took a lot of photos – over 200 – and it was really difficult to decide which ones to use for this post. Hope you like the ones I selected.

Everyone loves a parade…especially politicians.


Enter the dragon.



The Year of the Horse began on January 31 and will end on February 18, 2015. It is thought to bring prosperity and wealth. People who are born in 1906, 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002 and 2014 are born in the Year of the Horse.


Linking to Travel Photo Thursday, which is organized by Nancie at Budget Travelers Sandbox. Be sure to head over and check out more photos from locations around the world.

27 comments on “Chinese New Year Parade in New York’s Chinatown

  1. I think its great the way that New Yorkers get behind all the parades that happen in the city! We were in NYC for Halloween and experienced this first hand. Chinese New Year looks like another fabulous parade to watch. Getting a good spot seems to be the secret!!

  2. when you are a native new yorker you become somewhat averse to crowds — you don’t do times square on new years or chinatown on lunar new year. Especially the latter — firecracker explosions that were more enthusiastic than safe made it an especially good place to avoid. I think they’ve curtailled that a little though. I’m sure the food tour was amazing.

  3. Normally, I do, Eileen but the weather put me in a particularly good mood. I wanted color and to be outside and the parade provided that. This was my first time going to the parade. There were a lot of people but not as much, I think, as in Times Square.
    Oh yes, the food tour was amazing!

  4. It is definitely a fabulous parade, Jenny. I’m sure you’d like it.
    I agree, though, getting a good spot is the key. The good thing is that the parade route is long enough that if you get there early, you can find a nice place.

  5. I was looking forward to the dragon dance myself, Lili, and it didn’t disappoint.
    Unfortunately, everyone had the same idea so it was difficult to get photos that didn’t include other people.

  6. This looks like a fabulous parade – I would love to attend it some day!! I was born in the Year of the Horse so I feel like this is going to be a good year – would certainly be nice if it brought wealth and prosperity too! πŸ˜‰

  7. I loved this post Marcia! It definitely transported me right there with you and I could almost imagine the sounds and excitement of it all. (Pssst. . .you heard it here first: God is a Seahawk 12th Man!) πŸ™‚

  8. Everything worked out perfectly for you. I am glad you took so many photos because we got to see so many of them. I really feel like (wish) I were there it looks like everyone had a great time. I have yet to see a chinese dragon πŸ™‚

  9. Gosh this looks like a lot of fun. Cold but fun! I love the confetti. As you say, “everyone loves a parade”, and I can hear the tune playing in my ears as I write!

  10. I’ve never actually witnessed a Chinese New Year parade and this looks fun. I’m sure the kids liked the firecrackers and confetti. It’s so festive and I love all the costumes and that dragon is awesome. Glad you got to see this and share it with us.

  11. Too funny! I’ve seen that guy with the dog around town on numerous occasions (which is strange in a big city like this)…he sure gets around, doesn’t he?! Glad the weather held out for you, and I’m definitely going to have to try this one year!

  12. I love the festive look of your photos – and all the red.

    Very weird that NYC ended up being just fine for the Super Bowl – and very lucky for fans & players. The pup in the stroller seems unfazed by all the commotion.

    I love parades too and you’re bang on when you say politicians and parades go together.

  13. I’m still stewing that you were there during Super Bowl week *wink*! This is yet another reminder that there is a message being told in parades that so many of us (myself included and thank you for the “pay attention”) too frequently forget. My gosh that pup needs a trip to the groomer, Marcia! πŸ™‚

  14. Sorry, Mike. I hadn’t planned on being here, it just worked out that way.
    Wish you could have been here, it was actually fun. So many people showed up on the Boulevard on Saturday, they had problems with crowd control.

  15. Talk about weird weather, Leigh. We’ve had snow twice since Sunday and more expected this Sunday thought they’ve downgraded the total they initially expected. Hopefully, they’ll clear the intersections that are filled with water or covered by mounds of snow so we don’t have to walk in the street.

  16. He’s such a ham and impossible to miss. I love his colorful outfits.
    The weather was perfect for February. You should definitely try to go next year, Jess.

  17. Hi Marcia! Thanks for linking up to Travel Photo Thursday, and sorry I am so late in getting to your post. The weather here in CM is so glorious that it’s impossible to stay in during the day! Love the dragon! The parade here in CM featured three dragons (I think that’s a first)! It was fun following them as they went into the local businesses to give the new year blessing (and get some money!). Love all the colorful costumes in your shots.

  18. You’re welcome, Nancie! It’s funny how the weather’s been affecting us but in different ways. Here in the northeast, it’s been snow, snow and more snow. I’ve been spending more time indoors than usual but doing other things than keeping up with comments – Lol!
    Glad you love the dragon. It’s the best part of the parade. In fact, most of the people who were standing next to me on the route left after the dragon passed. It would have been great to have three dragons here! I doubt they gave any blessings here — it would have been a long afternoon. It was a lot of fun though.

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