Lions Shake It For Lunar New Year

Brian Slattery PhotoThe Yale-China Association‘s annual Lunarfest in celebration of the Lunar New Year kicked off once again with a parade up Whitney Avenue from Grove to Trumbull on Saturday.

Just before 10:00, the police blocked off Whitney Avenue at Grove Street.

For just a few minutes, Whitney Avenue was completely empty on a Saturday morning.

Then the members of the Wan Chi Ming Hung Gar Institute’s lion dance troupe arrived ...

... and suited up.

The earliest arrivals to the parade got to have private pictures taken with them. It was still pretty quiet.

But as soon as the drums started up, the crowds arrived. Soon about 200 people had shown up to watch the parade.

Lions, drums, and crowd paraded up Whitney Avenue together.

Kids and adults alike fed monetary offerings to the lions.

At the intersection of Whitney and Audubon, a makeshift stage was set up. After a brief lion dance, Andrew Wolf, New Haven’s arts czar, welcomed one and all to the parade.

The Connecticut Yankee Chorus surprised and delighted the crowd with a Lunar New Year song.

After that were martial arts demonstrations from Yale Wushu.

And dancing, from students from ECA and the Southern Connecticut Chinese School.

As the parade continued, the lions entered and blessed Great Wall and Hong Kong Grocery along Whitney Avenue.

The parade peaked with a minor feat of acrobatics. The drums let out a final blast of percussive fury and the parade was over. A host of activities sponsored by the Yale-China Association, the Council on East Asian Studies at Yale University, and the New Haven Museum, was about to begin. These included painting and calligraphy demonstrations, art exhibits, music, dancing, language classes, and a martial arts workshop.

Wish you’d been there? There’s always next year.

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