Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Photos: Ringing in the Year of the Dragon in Boston’s Chinatown

The air reverberated with the crackle of firecrackers and the echoing cadence of drumbeats and gongs. Amidst the bustling and vibrant ambience, hundreds converged in Chinatown on Sunday, Feb. 18, to usher in the Year of the Dragon with the annual lion dance parade hosted by the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association of New England. Around 10 a.m., the celebration unfolded with various groups of performers winding their way through the streets, enveloping the community in jubilation. 

Mayor Michelle Wu and city officials joined the crowd to revel in the performances. In her remarks, Wu thanked the audience for their presence and support of the local community. 

“We are so excited to see everyone here,” said Wu. “This might be the biggest one that we’ve had in many many years, so thank you so much for joining us.” 

With each stop, crowds of all ages encircled the performers, eager to witness the lion and dragon dances. Lion dancers from local cultural organizations, kung fu clubs, dance troupes, and Chinese schools embarked on a synchronized march across multiple locations, bringing the festivities directly to the doorsteps of businesses throughout Chinatown and offering them the fortune for prosperity in the coming year. The lions are created by a duo of dancers, one controlling the head and the other the back, with a procession of attendants, drummers, and cymbalists following them. Businesses prepared offerings to “feed” the lions, commonly oranges and cabbages, which the lions threw and smashed to symbolize spreading good luck. At the end of the ceremony and dance, firecrackers were lit on the ground to chase away evil spirits.

Navigate Left
Navigate Right
  • A group of performers arrive in front of the Taiwan Café, a Chinatown catering business, while lion dancers bow three times in gratitude as the restaurant offers oranges and cabbages to “feed” them. (Ashlyn Wang/Beacon Staff)

  • Hundreds of community members gather in Chinatown to celebrate the arrival of the Year of the Dragon with the annual lion dance parade on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024. (Ashlyn Wang/Beacon Staff)

  • A young child gives a red envelope to a lion dancer as the dance troupe parades through the streets of Chinatown and visits businesses. (Ashlyn Wang/Beacon Staff)

  • Performers present a dragon dance on Harrison Avenue during the parade in Boston’s Chinatown. (Rian Nelson/Beacon Correspondent)

  • Onlookers crowd Chinatown, flocking to the spots where lion dance troupes are putting on a show. (Ashlyn Wang/Beacon Staff)

  • Mayor Michelle Wu interacts with performers and gives red envelopes to lion dancers in Chinatown. (Rian Nelson/Beacon Correspondent)

Navigate Left
Navigate Right
  • Lion dancers perform among smoke from firecrackers during the parade in Chinatown. (Rian Nelson/Beacon Correspondent)

  • A lion dancer lifts his partner during the performance. (Rian Nelson/Beacon Correspondent)

  • Children stop in front of a pop-up vendor selling toys and decorations as the parade progresses. (Ashlyn Wang/Beacon Staff)

  • A young performer in a red lion costume walking with his teammates during their show. (Rian Nelson/Beacon Correspondent)

  • Performers from the Boston Chinese Freemasons Athletic Club beat drums and gongs in sync with the lion dance at the parade. (Ashlyn Wang/Beacon Staff)

  • A crowd of spectators viewing a dragon dance performance. (Ashlyn Wang/beacon Staff)

  • A young lion dancer from the Wong Family Benevolent Association performs on Harrison Avenue during the parade, surrounded by spectators watching the group’s performance. (Ashlyn Wang/Beacon Staff)

Leave a Comment
About the Contributors
Ashlyn Wang, Photo Editor
Ashlyn Wang (she/her) is a journalism major with minors in economics and psychology at Emerson College. She currently serves as the photo editor for the Beacon. She spends most of her free time on photography and creative writing.
Rian Nelson, Staff Photographer

Comments (0)

The Berkeley Beacon intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. We welcome strong opinions and criticism that are respectful and constructive. Comments are only posted once approved by a moderator and you have verified your email. All users are expected to adhere to our comment section policy. READ THE FULL POLICY HERE: https://berkeleybeacon.com/comments/
All Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *