Chinese New Year Parade

Here’s a thing I love about living in the city: last night, as we were sitting around after dinner, we heard the sound of distant music. “Oh yeah,” said Sam, “I think the big Chinese New Year’s parade is tonight. Should we go see it?”

“Sure, why not,” I said, and so we put a jacket on the boy and walked down four blocks, and there it was: lights! floats! firecrackers! lion dancers! stilt walkers! fan dancers! marching bands! and almost more little children in spotted cow hats, shaking their tufted ox-tails, than you could even say “awwww” at. But we said “awww” at them all.

There were shiny silver oxes:

(yes, those ARE small children in rooster, hare, and ram costumes surrounding the ox. yes, they ARE adorable.)

There were glittery gold oxes:

There were scary electric oxes with glowing demonic eyes:

The interesting thing about this ox-herder is that she was either pregnant or wearing a costume to make her look pregnant. Shout out to pregnant ladies in the Year of the Ox!

And there were close encounters of the lion kind:

This lion came up to be petted by, and to flutter his eyelashes at, the onlookers. When we got home we flipped on the TV and the local commentators were talking about lion dancing. They said that using the motion of the head and articulation of the face parts, like the eyelids, the dancer is supposed to be able to convey eight separate emotions. One of them was sleepiness, which I thought was awesome. Wikipedia has a lot more on lion dancing and what the different colors of lions signify. I did not know that lion dancing is linked with kung fu!

Robin liked the parade:

I thought he might get scared when the big dragon came by, with those little poppy firecrackers going off in its mouth, but he just stared at it. And he really liked the ribbon dancers, the marching bands, and the troupes of little kids in their cow costumes. At several points he did his best to squirm out of Sam’s arms so that he could run into the street and join them! Not this year, little buddy.

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