The Lion Dance of New Haven

Last Friday, I went to downtown New Haven to see what the Chinese New Year celebration would look like. Many times I’ve wanted to attend one that the biggest in Chinatown, New York, but there was always something happened on the same day. So here’s my chance to see up close especially the Lion dance performance. When I arrived in downtown, I was wondering why was it that the streets were still busy as usual without any inkling of some kind of celebration. It turned out I had to walk about three blocks until I heard the drum, the cymbals and the sound of people cheering.

There it was a small yellow figure that was the Lion who was surrounded by people gathering in one corner of the street. The Lion then moved still flocked by people including me, who tried to catch up. We walked on the sidewalk, while once in a while if some crowds were overflowing from it, there would be the chirp and beep from the police cars that were moving along with them. The Lion stopped on another corner before crossing the street and it was dancing to the music. People took turn to take picture of themselves with it. Then the Lion stopped in front of some stores that were alongside our walk and gave blessing, by dancing in front of the entrance doors.

Some people stopped the Lion to give offering of payment in “hongbao” or the red envelope, that they put into the Lion’s mouth. The proceeding continued unto the small park and the Lion had acrobatic show for the audiences. The Lion dance celebration was held by Yale-China Association. My daughter was among 16 students from New Haven middle and high school who were chosen to have a meet and greet with the performers and had some new year’s lunch too with them. Sounds awesome!

Stopping on a corner of the street to perform.

Chinese New Year Celebration in New Haven


Blessing the entrance to a Chinese restaurant.

Chinese New Year Celebration in New Haven


Giving the hongbao to the Lion.

Offering Hongbao to The Lion


The acrobatic show.

The Lion Dance

Wishing everybody Xin Nian Kuai Le and Gong Xi fa Cai.

Gong Xi fa Cai - Xin Nian Kui Le


4 thoughts on “The Lion Dance of New Haven

  1. Looks like a lot of fun… great colours.

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