VIDEO: Philadelphia celebrates Chinese New Year in Chinatown

Philadelphians gathered in Chinatown today to celebrate the start of Chinese New Year.

“People light firecrackers and make big sounds,” said Ling Quan, a world language teacher at Reynolds Middle School in Lancaster who brought a group of students to see the festivities. “It’s a tradition to drive bad luck away, because today is the beginning of the new year and the spring season and everyone wants to have good luck.”

The celebration also featured several performances of the dragon dance, another tradition believed to bring good fortune.

In addition to good fortune, today’s participants ushered in the year of the snake. “It’s one of the twelve signs of the Chinese zodiac,” Quan said. Many astrologists say the sneaky qualities attributed to the snake in mythology means that the year may bring some unexpected turns of events. The year of the snake is projected to bring economic prosperity, as long as those in business don’t engage in financial speculation, according to the South China Morning Post.

The Chinese zodiac also pairs one of five elements with the animal representing each year. For 2013, that is water. Water is closely associated with insight, intellectualism, education and research, meaning that this year could see significant developments in the field of science and technology.

The year of the water snake is also associated with rebirth and new beginnings, according to Feng Shui expert and hypnotherapist Mary Shurtleff. She said those entering into the new year can prepare by freeing themselves from old attachments and behaviors that are no longer productive.

But not all of today’s celebrants came to Chinatown for the celebration’s traditional implications. “It’s loud and exciting,” said Lauren Cook, who came to see the spectacle for the first time with a group of friends who hailed from as far as Montreal and Brazil.

Though they didn’t know the traditional meanings behind all of the rituals, they enjoyed their visit. “We’re looking forward to getting good Chinese food after,” Cook said.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

NFL

3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

Wellbeing

Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…