New York's Chinese and Korean communities together celebrated their favorite period of the lunar calendar, with a parade through the streets of Flushing in Queens.
This joyous and colorful and multicultural parade marked the Year of the Goat, Sheep, or Ram depending on your preference.
It all depends, according to Chinese born in Shanghai and NYC banker Yirong Chen, who knows about culture, music and mythology. The Chinese character yang can be translated as all of these animals, but she prefers sheep because in her opinion, it is the most delightful of the three animals. Sheep and goats are raised in China, but mostly found on the country's northern fringes. Goats are more commonplace. The third, a ram which is a male sheep is preferred by others who don't like the meek, docile characteristics of the sheep. DD Wang, a NYC medical researcher tells us she prefers the goat.
There are cartoon-like sheep, cheeky goats and curly-horned rams to mark a holiday, which some say may be celebrated by more people worldwide than Christmas in the West. In parts of Asia, the annual mass migration for the festivities is taking place, with over 2.8 billion trips expected as most head home or go on vacation for the Spring Festival.
In any case, the annual spectacle of floats, musicians, acrobats and giant dragons started on Main Street, and winded through Chinatown. The new year began on February 19.
Photo: Y. CHEN