Dragons were spotted in Flushing on Thursday.
Thumping drums accompanied the quick pace of commuters and shoppers in downtown Flushing. Two dragons walked into a T-Mobile store on Roosevelt Avenue with a traveling band following close behind. It was the first day of Lunar New Year.
To mark the holiday that is celebrated by many Asian communities, a kung fu and dance club ran through the streets of Flushing’s Chinatown with dragon costumes, cymbals and drums. The Hung Sing Kwoon group celebrates the holiday every year by holding a small parade on the first day of Lunar New Year.
“We’re celebrating the new year by parading around Flushing stores,” said Adam Chin, who has been with the group for seven years.
The group usually barges into stores and parades through the streets for the majority of the day.
“We’ll keep it up even in this cold,” Chin said as the wind picked up. “We feel it’s our duty to help spread joy on this day. That’s why we go into stores too. People really like that.”
Meanwhile, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and U.S. Rep. Grace Meng read to a group of students for Lunar New Year. The lawmakers were at the Flushing branch of the Queens Library, where many of the children were wearing traditional red clothes for the holiday.
“The Lunar New Year is an important time,” Gillibrand said. “It’s a chance to think about new goals, and I wish everyone happiness, success and good fortune.