Hundreds of revelers ushered in the Year of the Dragon at Sunset Park’s annual Lunar New Year celebration on Sunday, Feb. 11.
Lunar New Year is observed by billions of people in China, Korea, Vietnam and Singapore as well as among the Asian diaspora across the world, and marks the beginning of the new year based on the lunar calendar.
Chinese Lunar New Year usually falls on the second new moon following the winter solstice and is marked by vibrant traditional dances and performances — most notably, the dragon dance, which sees numerous performers don a long dragon costume.
This celebration marks the Year of the Dragon, the fifth of a series of 12 different animals represented in the Chinese zodiac that is said to mark an auspicious year ahead.
In Sunset Park, the annual Lunar New Year parade — organized by the Brooklyn Chinese American Association — stretched along Eighth Avenue from 50th to 60th Street, with attendees setting off fireworks, dragon poppers and silly string. A stage was set up at 50th Street where dozens of school children performed songs and dance routines to the delight of festival goers and elected officials also in attendance.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams was present to celebrate the Lunar New Year and took to social media to mark the occasion.
“Gung hey fah choy! Honored to celebrate the Lunar New Year with the Brooklyn-Chinese American Association,” Adams said on X, formerly known as Twitter. “For 35 years, this group has brought boldness and creativity to their community — that’s what the Year of the Dragon is all about.”
Also in attendance at the parade were local electeds like Council Member Justin Brannan and State Sen. Iwen Chu, as well as District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, New York Attorney General Letitia James and New York City Comptroller Brad Lander.
“Wishing all celebrating a happy and healthy Lunar New Year!” said Lander, who also hosted a Chinese lantern making party at the Flushing library. “As the Year of the Dragon begins, may the qualities of strength, courage, and leadership associated with the dragon inspire our vibrant Asian communities and entire city in the days ahead.”
James shared similar sentiments, saying the Lunar New Year holiday was a time to celebrate the vibrant traditions of Brooklyn’s Asian community.
“It was great to be in Sunset Park today for the Brooklyn Chinese-American Association’s annual Lunar New Year Parade,” she said. “This year, we recognize the Year of the Dragon, representing good fortune, wisdom, and strength. I wish everyone celebrating a healthy, prosperous, and peaceful new year.”