The Legend of Nian

       Nian is a Chinese mythological giant creature, which lived in the mountains or under the sea and would come down to during the first day of the Chinese New Year and  terrorize the people, kill them and destroy the crops.

        People found out that the beast was terrorized by bright red lights, red color and loud sounds. So people would burst crackers, light red lanterns and do the lion dance accompanied by drums, cymbals and gongs to scare the beast.  Nowadays Chinese do it during the Chinese New Year to scare the Nian and other evil creatures. Lion dancers visiting different shops bring in good luck during the Chinese New Year. Sometimes the costumes worn during the Lion dance might mimic Nian.

Chinese New Year is called Guo Nian meaning the victory of the people over Nian.

 

Lion dancers performing at one of the food joints in the Food Court at New World Mall, Chinatown, Flushing, NYC

 

Lion dance groups playing the drums, Gongs, Cymbals at New World Mall, Chinatown, Flushing, NYC

Chinese New Year Celebration in Flushing, Queens, New York City

   Chinese New year is celebrated with fervor in the Chinatown in Flushing, Queens in the New York City. Several groups of lion dancers were seen dancing and visiting shops to bring in good luck, the next day after the Chinese New year.

 

Food Court in New World Mall, Chinatown, Flushing, NYC decorated in bright red colors and lanterns.

Where to stay?

There are few hotels which are there in the heart of the Chinatown – Ramada in Prince street, Best Western, Sheraton are some of the options. It is not unusual for room tariff to go high for the weekends and especially during the Chinese New Year.

Lion Dancers performing in the street at Chinatown, Flushing, NYC

Other Information

Do note many restaurants are open on the Chinese New year.

There are many restaurants in Chinatown offer Bring Your Own Liquor (BYOL) which is convenient if you want get togethers.

Do make use of the $30/hour massages while you are there.

Also get a haircut and excellent shampoo wash with massage for just $10 in many of the shops in Chinatown.

Other useful information is found for Chinatown here – http://randomvoyager.com/queens/

About Saran Shanmugam

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