This past weekend, people in Chinatown celebrated the ancient tradition of Chinese New Year. The blocks bordered by 9th,11th, Race and Vine streets were blocked off and flooded with Philadelphians and tourists looking to get a glimpse of the Lion Dances from the Philadelphia Suns, a nonprofit organization that hosts parades each year to celebrate Chinatown’s cultural heritage.
On Friday night, the festivities began with Lion Dance demonstrations and ended with a parade down 10th Street. Some spectators followed the lions around.
Mason Cohen, Nico Cohen, Brycen Kan, Brandon Alpert and their uncle Gary Lee, lit firecrackers for the crowds to see.
“Our father and uncle have been doing this with us since we were very young,” Mason Cohen said. “We collect the firecrackers throughout the year and enjoy setting them off to put on a show for all to see.”
On Sunday, the Suns were back out with another Lion dance parade. This time the firecrackers were tied to a string and set off in front of stores to attract the lions. Legend says that having the lions come to stores scares off bad spirits for the New Year. The events gathered crowds and left behind firecracker remains and confetti for clean-up.