Happy Chinese New Year

It’s the Year of the Snake!


Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year celebrations in Flushing is Saturday, February 16, 2013, with Flushing’s 17th annual Lunar New Year Parade. Parade times are from 11 a.m. until about 1 p.m. It’s the Year of the Snake! Flushing, Queens, is home to one of the largest Chinese and East Asian populations in New York City, rivaling Manhattan’s Chinatown. Also joining the parade are other East Asian groups in Queens, particularly the Korean community. Plus there are more New Year events in Lunar New Year Parade – February 16, 2013. The parade is the highlight of the Chinese New Year celebrations in Flushing. Look for dragon dancers, steel drummers, and fireworks. About 4,000 people march each year.


Zen Brush. Year of the Snake Original Sumi Ink Painting for the Chinese New Year Zodiac 2013 by Vásken Kalayjian.

Vásken studied Japanese Sumi Ink Painting from the renowned calligrapy master and Zen teacher Kazuaki Tanahashi. In Chinese astrology, the snake is associated with beauty and wisdom. The serpent embodies esoteric knowledge and spiritual discovery which is why they are sacred to many ancient cultures around the globe.

Snake Years are sixth in the cycle, following the Dragon Years, and recur every twelfth year. 1905* 1917* 1929* 1941* 1953* 1965* 1977* 1989* 2001* 2013


The Chinese New Year is a chance to leave the problems of the previous year behind. It is important to start the New Year fresh, and this means cleaning up the house and buying new clothes.

Houses are decorated with red paper banners which have auspicious couplets written on them. These are hung around doorways and are intended to bring luck to the household for the coming year.

Red is an important color in Chinese culture, symbolizing prosperity. Many people will wear red clothing during the New Year celebrations, and houses will have many red decorations such as Chinese knot work.

Red Envelopes

Red envelopes (hóng bāo) are given to children and unmarried adults. Married couples also give red envelopes to their parents.

The envelopes contain money. The money must be in new bills, and the total amount must be an even number. Certain numbers (such as four) are bad luck, so the total amount should not be one of these unlucky numbers. “Four” is a homonym for “death”, so a red envelope should never contain $4, $40, or $400.


Evil spirits are driven away by loud noise, so Chinese New Year is a very loud celebration. Long strings of firecrackers are set off throughout the holiday, and there are many displays of fireworks lighting up the evening skies.

Some countries such as Singapore and Malaysia restrict the use of fireworks, but Taiwan and Mainland China still allow almost unrestricted use of firecrackers and other fireworks.

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