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Photos: Chinese New Year Celebrated With Lion Dances in Boston’s Chinatown

Happy Chinese New Year! The lions and dragons were out on Sunday, March 1st for the annual festivities in Boston’s Chinatown. Depending on who you ask, it is either the year of the sheep, goat or ram. Traditional lion dancers paraded through the streets, helping to drive away the evil spirits and bring good luck for the new year. The lion dance groups are sponsored by Chinatown’s civic and benevolent organizations. The costumed characters took the stage and then went from business to business. In each group, there are two lions with a Buddha or clown along with musical drums and cymbals for the dance. Each lion has two dancers underneath who perform their own dance representing various emotions of respect, joy, contentment, playfulness and anger. A chair outside each businesses has cabbage and oranges. The lions break apart the cabbage and throw the oranges to spread good fortune. Then, the restaurant owner often presents a red envelope with money to the group. The noise of firecrackers is often heard to accompany the lion dances.

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Photos by Matt Conti.