The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

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Chinatown comes alive with Year of the Dragon Parade

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Margot Murphy
Parade volunteers pop confetti cannons over lion dancers as a barrage of firecrackers dissipate. Along with confetti, red paper lanterns and soft lights decorated Chinatown’s streets.

Bostonians and tourists alike gathered in Chinatown Feb. 18 to watch the annual Lunar New Year parade, featuring lion dances by the Wam Lum Kung Fu Boston Lion Dance Team.

The Chinese calendar designates every new year with one of 12 zodiac animals. In Chinese folklore, a dragon represents power, ambition and intelligence, emphasizing the good fortune to come this year. 

Mayor Michelle Wu and State Representative Donald Wong welcomed the cheering crowd with comments on the importance of community and prosperity for all. After Wu’s speech, people dispersed to enjoy the festivities. 

“I think it’s spectacular — there’s just so much happening,” said Ava Martignetti, a first-year nutrition major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst who attended the parade. “It’s been quite a sight.”

The Boston Police Department blocked off a stretch of Boylston Street near Chinatown, allowing pedestrians to safely enjoy the event. 

Separate groups of lion dancers traveled across Chinatown, visiting small businesses. The dancers wore intricate costumes with colorful patterns, fur and sparkles as they flexibly danced, bowed and set off firecrackers with a sizzling bang before moving on to the next store. They also threw oranges and lettuce into the air to spread good fortune and wealth.  

Designated volunteers accompanied the lions, playing traditional drums and gongs and releasing confetti into the air. Pedestrians followed the dancers on their pilgrimage, offering red envelopes and cheering as the lions performed. 

“There’s been a lot of fire and explosions, which is fun to see,” said Jo Bouwmeester, a first-year architecture major at Northeastern attending the parade. 

Along with the performances, vendors traversed the streets selling red lanterns, balloons, dragon merchandise and plushies  of Pikachu and Hello Kitty. Lines formed out the door for Chinese food and pastries such as dumplings and pineapple red bean buns to celebrate the new year.

“I think it’s important to expose people to new cultures and bring them to places that they might not usually go to immerse themselves,” Bouwmeester said.

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