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
National

Is #JusticeForAvaLynn a case of bullying?

On Saturday, the hashtag #JusticeForAvaLynn became one of the trending topics on Twitter. Users circulated the above photo of 5-year-old AvaLynn, posted by her mother…

International

Terrorism could spread to US and Europe in…

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah said terrorism would soon spread to Europe and the United States unless it is quickly dealt with in the Middle East,…

National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

Gossip

Joan Rivers on life support: Report

TMZ reports that comedian Joan Rivers has been placed on life support, "completely reliant on machines to stay alive." Rivers has been hospitalized since she…

Movies

What's new on Netflix in September

September has a supernatural theme for Netflix. UFO "documentaries" and the survivalist reality series "Doomsday Preppers" are among the new series coming to the online…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: Lesbians, men most likely…

Lesbians, men most likely to achieve orgasm Location: U.S. Study subjects: 2,850 people Results: Whether you find it shocking or not, a new study reports that…

Wellbeing

VIDEO: Still not wearing sunscreen? You will after…

Sunscreen is possibly the most often repeated - and ignored - piece of skincare advice. But Thomas Leveritt took a different tactic. With a short…

Food

Twitter used to track down sources of food…

When Chicago health officials saw Twitter users complaining about local food poisoning episodes, they reached out on Twitter to those users and often ended up…

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.