Firecracker Ceremony

 

Chinese New Year

Organized by: Better Chinatown Society

Co-organized by: Fukien-Am Association & Hanka Organization

 

Description

February 18, 2007 marks the first day of the 2007 Lunar New Year, which will be kicked off with a controlled firecracker detonation, a traditional Lunar New Year practice believed to scare away evil spirits. Expected attendees include local politicians, community leaders and dignitaries. After opening ceremonies, a dozen Lion, Dragon and Unicorn dance troupes will march down the main streets of Chinatown (Mott, Bowery, East Broadway, Bayard, Elizabeth, and Pell) to help ring in the New Year. A massive stage will also be erected in the heart of Chinatown that will feature all-day cultural performances by traditional and contemporary Asian and Asian-American signers and dancers.

 

Estimated Attendance: 200,000

Last year close to 500,000 people attended the Firecracker Celebration and Parade celebrating the Lunar New Year,” said Steven Tin. “The crowds have grown in size each of the past eight years, and this year, with good weather, we believe the crowds might exceed 550,000. We will have the biggest parade ever and the firecracker celebration will be the most impressive in recent years.

The traditional Firecracker Celebration – so important to Asian cultures all over the world – had been cancelled during the Giuliani administration because of safety precautions. However, in the aftermath of 9/11, Mayor Giuliani rescinded the ban and the Firecracker Celebration once again became an integral part of the Lunar New Year Celebration in New York City starting with the Year of the Horse in 2002.

This year, for the third successive year, the Better Chinatown Association has engaged the world renowned Fireworks by Grucci organization to design and execute the traditional Firecracker Ceremony where 500,000 one-inch firecrackers will be detonated during a noisy five-minute display of rapid explosions creating a wall of smoke and fire aimed at chasing off evil spirits of the past year.

Prior to the firecracker detonations, many city, state and community leaders will welcome the Lunar New Year at a ceremony that will be held on a stage to be erected on The Bowery at Chatham Square. The ceremony will also feature performances by traditional Chinese Opera singers and the participation of at least a dozen colorful Lion Dance groups from all over the metropolitan area who will perform in front of the stage as part of the traditional ceremony. The Lion Dancers will later wind their way through the streets of Chinatown stopping at local businesses and restaurants where they will receive traditional holiday red envelopes containing good luck Lunar New Year money. At the conclusion of the Firecracker ceremony, a number of traditional Asian musical groups and contemporary pop groups will perform on stage until 2:30 PM.

Sponsors of the Lunar New Year Celebrations in Chinatown include: American Airlines, Harbin Lager (Anheuser Busch), Washington Mutual Bank, Verizon, Con Edison, Cathay Bank, Fukien American Association, Hanka Association, New York Life, Fidelis Care, Allstate, Health Plus, OUO Entertainment, Hennessy Cognac, Pearl River Mart, Grand Harmony Restaurant, Chinatown Partnership Local Development Association, Sing Tao, World Journal, Twin Marquis, Inc., JiangZheFu Organization, Everlasting Distributors, The Duowei Times, Chinese Consumer Weekly, Elite HK Corp., Grand Furniture, Windsor Hotel, Dynasty Supermarket, Chinatown Lumber, Paramount and the Daily News.