Practice and repetition is what it takes for dancer Elijah Yong to perform in the Lunar New Year Parade.

“I think it’s really important to pass on the culture, especially to get younger people involved. It’s such a beautiful thing to go down every Chinese New Year,” Yong, a member of Choy Lay Fut Lion Dance Team said.

What You Need To Know

  • Choy Lay Fut Lion Dance Team was one of the groups in the parade

  • The parade stepped off at Mott and Hester Streets

  • Elected officials, including Assemblymember Grace Lee, were glad to see more foot traffic at local businesses

  • Dancer Elijah Yong said being in the parade brings him back to his childhood

Under a vibrant head of a Lion, Elijah Yong is performing for the third time. He was one of hundreds of people at the parade.

The Lunar New Year Parade stepped off at Hester Street and Mott Street.

This year’s parade honors the year of the dragon, which symbolizes power, honor and luck.

Yong’s dance group tailored their performance to the theme.

Both officials and regular civilians in attendance said it’s special to see Chinatown come alive for the parade.

“It’s just incredibly exciting to see so many people visit Chinatown supporting our small businesses and celebrating our culture,”
said State Assemblymember Grace Lee.

People along the route said, for them, the holiday is all about family and celebrating Chinese culture in the city.

“It’s great to be immersed in another culture and enjoy their food and the vibrancy of the celebration. We’re also having a baby this year, so we came to get some good luck charms for our little dragon,” said attendee Liz Rosado.

“It’s very important for each community to have their own parades and to feel that they are being represented,” another attendee Esther Cisnerosluna said.

Yong grew up in Chinatown and said being in the parade reminds him of traditions going back to his childhood.

“I love doing it. It’s great to see people’s faces as you come by, especially the little kids,” Yong said.

The parade route made its way through Chinatown, ending at Grand Street. Performers from Choy Lay Fut Lion Dance Teams said next month, they will start planning for next year’s performance.