On Saturday, February 12, 2011, the Korean and Chinese communities of northeast Queens in New York City celebrated the Lunar New Year by hosting the 15th Annual Lunar New Year Parade on Main Street in Flushing.
Below are photos of the parade from Robert Burnett, Jr. – world-renowned “Chelebrity” (a China celebrity) photographer (Burnett is known for his work in photographing Peter Hessler here). Burnett’s amazing and extensive portfolio can be found on his website, www.rburnettjr.com
Lunar New Year is celebrated by both the Chinese and Korean communities, and both had a strong presence at the Flushing parade. The first half of the parade included the Korean and Korean-American communities, including a small but strong contingent of Korean soldiers who served in the Vietnam War. Unknown to most Americans, in the late 60s and early 70s, the U.S. government requested that Korea send troops to Vietnam to assist the U.S. war effort there. Although largely against Korean public opinion, the Korean president eventually sent 320,00 soldiers. Over 4,000 Korean soldiers were killed in action (for more info, click here).
The Chinese segment of the parade was largely dominated by the Taiwanese Chinese community, which was surprising since for the past 10 years, there has been a large influx of mainland Chinese to Flushing. There only appeared to be one mainland Chinese group in the parade – the “China Anti-Cult World Alliance” – which appears to be more a statement against the Falun Gong than any “anti-cult” movement. Only a few floats later was there a Falun Gong group marching in the parade.
But in all, as Burnett’s photos below reflect, the 2011 Lunar New Year parade was a fun celebration of one of the most important holidays in the Chinese and Korean cultures. Enjoy!
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