Huge parade held in New York to celebrate Year of the Pig

Drummers, dragons and dancers have paraded through New York’s Chinatown to usher in the Year of the Pig.

Thousands of spectators lined the route of the Lunar New Year Parade in lower Manhattan.

New York has the biggest population of Chinese descent of any city outside Asia.

“The pig year is one of my favourite years, because it means lucky — everybody likes lucky — and, for me, a relationship or family” and a better life, Eva Zou said as she awaited the marchers.

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>Members of a dragon dance group parade in Manhattan (Andres Kudacki/AP)</figcaption>
Members of a dragon dance group parade in Manhattan (Andres Kudacki/AP)

“Because I just moved here several months ago, so it’s a big challenge for me, but I feel so happy now.”

There’s an animal associated with every year in the 12-year Chinese astrological cycle, and the Year of the Pig started on February 5.

Some marchers sported cheerful pink pig masks on top of traditional Chinese garb of embroidered silk.

Others played drums, banged gongs or held aloft big gold-and-red dragons on sticks, snaking the creatures along the route.

Someone in a panda costume marched with a clutch of well-known children’s characters, including Winnie the Pooh, Cookie Monster and Snoopy.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and US Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, both Democrats, were among the politicians in the line-up, where Chinese music mixed with bagpipers and a police band played 76 Trombones, from classic musical The Music Man.

The lunar year is centred on the cycles of the moon and begins in January or February. Last year was the Year of the Dog.

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>Dancers perform during the Chinese Lunar New Year parade (Andres Kudacki/AP)</figcaption>
Dancers perform during the Chinese Lunar New Year parade (Andres Kudacki/AP)

While some parade-goers were familiar with the Chinese zodiac, others said they were just there to enjoy the cultural spectacle or partake in a sense of auspicious beginning.

“We’re here to get good luck for the year,” said Luz Que, who came to the parade with her husband, Jonathan Rosa.

- Press Association

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