Year of the Tiger

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Flushing is showing its stripes this month as it celebrates Lunar New Year with a host of events, including an extravagant parade, parties, cultural performances and the multicultural food offerings of the Far East.

Kicking off the Year of the Tiger, community groups and residents started with a South Korean Noreum Machi dance recital Jan. 28 at Flushing Town Hall and Chinese Ying Tang Lion Team show Saturday at Macy’s on Roosevelt Avenue.

These events were a prelude to next weekend’s all-out bash on the streets of downtown Flushing, centered around the treasured Lunar New Year Parade Feb. 20, which draws visitors from across the city and tri-state area.

Councilman Peter Koo (R-Flushing) said during a launch event last Thursday that the community really comes out during the annual festivities.

“Lunar New Year is one of the biggest celebrations in Chinese and Korean culture,” Koo said. “It is right that we celebrate it here in Flushing.”

The holiday’s main event, its multicultural parade, will begin 11 a.m. in front of the 109th Precinct at 37-05 Union St. It will proceed down Union, turn right on Sanford Avenue, make a right on Main Street and turn left on 39th Avenue before ending in front of the Flushing Mall at 133-31 39th Ave. by 1 p.m.

During the parade, Chinese, Korean, Jewish, Hindu and other groups will all celebrate their mix of cultures, organizers said. One of this year’s most anticipated new additions is a float that will represent the hometown baseball team, the Mets.

Following the parade, the Flushing Chinese Business Association will host a celebration on the second floor of Queens Crossing at 136-17 39th Ave., while the Korean American Association of Queens holds one at the Koreavillage Open Center at 150-24 Northern Blvd. Both events will feature cultural displays and performances, music and other festivities.

“The parade is something where all different groups can participate,” said Mabel Law, executive director of the Flushing BID, which is helping to organize the event. “This is a celebration of culture and the New Year and good luck.”

The fun doesn’t end with the parade, though. From art exhibits such as “Seeing Red,” at Crossing Art, to a Chinese and Korean festival Feb. 27 at Flushing Library featuring live music, food, dance and art, the next few weeks will be filled with fun for families of all backgrounds.

Based on the Chinese lunisolar calendar, the Lunar New Year, which marks the 14th of the traditional 15 days of celebration, falls on a different date each year in the Gregorian calendar used by Western countries. The celebration is one of the most significant in the Chinese calendar and it ushers in a new animal zodiac sign as determined by a 12-year cycle. This year’s celebration marks the start of the Year of the Tiger.

“This will be the Year of the ‘Golden’ Tiger that symbolizes peace and hope and of course good health and prosperity,” said Peter Tu, president of the Flushing Chinese Business Association which has hosted the parade since founding it in 1996, in a statement. “We hope everyone will come out to join us for the parade in Flushing as we celebrate our local community and share our culture.”

To participate in the parade or for more information, call 718-358-3030 or 718-353-2320.

Reach reporters Ivan Pereira and Connor Adams Sheets at or 718-260-4538.

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Updated 6:01 pm, October 10, 2011
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