Chinese New Year 2013 In Boston: Sunday, February 17, 2013: Lion Dance Parade, Chinese Crackers By The Mile & Dim Sum


Anura Guruge

Related posts:
Dim Sum In China Town, Boston — The Update — Sept. 3, 2012.
Dim Sum In China Town, Boston — Aug. 24, 2012.

It is Sunday, February 17, 2013.

My earlier assertion that it was on Sunday, February 10, 2013 now appears to be wrong. As I state in the post, I knew it was the 2nd Sunday. Just to make sure I have been checking on a regular basis. Today I found 2 posts that state quite categorically, post-1 & post-2, that it is Sunday, February 17, 2013. That is also when they are having the parade in Las Vegas. So, that makes sense. Sorry. But, I was going by what I could find. We now need to change all our plans and we do have a conflict on the 17th, though China Town will win.

All these pictures are from New Year 2011 in Boston.
We ate at the Hei La Moon which has the big picture windows.
Yes, that is Teischan. Click to ENLARGE.

The Chinese New Year in Boston, with the 3rd largest Chinese community in the U.S., is great fun. We have gone down at least 6 or 7 times. The Chinese New Year, each and every year, spans 15 days. We, oblivious, used to go down on the 1st Sunday of that two-week period. It used to be fairly quiet. Then after talking to a few locals in pidgin English, which I am real fluent in (given that this is my second language), we discovered that: ‘no, no, not this Sunday. Come next Sunday‘. Aaah! The real celebrations are on the 2nd Sunday — and what celebrations they are. Wow, wow and WOW.

We went in 2011 — the day before Deanna went in for her back surgery.

It was beyond amazing. What fun. We saw at least 8, yes 8, different Lion/Dragon parades. We followed some. Saw the ritual with the red envelope and the animal trying to eat the fruit.

And then the Chinese crackers. Coming from Ceylon, from the 1950s to boot, I am very familiar with Chinese crackers. We used to use them with gusto and aplomb when I was a kid. But, I have never seen crackers in this quantity. They were unrolling them out by the mile and I kid you not — and exaggerate, if any, by not much. It was rolls upon rolls. The noise, the smoke, the atmosphere. Obviously China Town has impeccable relations with the City and Law Enforcement. Policemen were just lounging about. It was a real holiday.

And then Dim Sum. Yes, it will be the China Pearl. Yes, it will be crowded. Yes, we will wait. All part of the tradition. The parades start at noon. The fireworks about an hour later.

It is a Sunday, so street parking in Boston will be free.

We couldn’t make it last year. I was bummed. It was the same Sunday as ‘The Wild Swans play by the Educational Theatre Collaborative (ETC) at Plymouth State University and I had bought the tickets in November without checking when New Year was.

I like to celebrate as many New Years per year as I can. Yes, of course, January 1. Then, Chinese. [I am 1/16th Chinese — as you could probably tell from my eyes. My paternal grandmother was 25% Chinese and you could tell that. Very interesting lady. Very stately. Had real bad diabetes — hence why I wait to join the ranks.] April 14 is Sinhalese New Year — and the other 15/16th of me is Sinhalese/Aryan, as far as I know. We don’t really do anything on April 14, and Deanna always forgets. I would celebrate the Jewish New Year, but despite 25 years of extensive interactions with Jewish colleagues and friends I still get so confused by their holidays. I really must make an effort to sort them out.

If you would like to experience Chinese New Year 2013 in Boston, but feel kind of ‘intimidated’, drop me a line or leave a comment. I will try to help out. IF enough people are interested I might even consider taking a group down — and no, I am sorry, but I can’t afford to pay, though I would love to.

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About Anura Guruge

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8 responses to “Chinese New Year 2013 In Boston: Sunday, February 17, 2013: Lion Dance Parade, Chinese Crackers By The Mile & Dim Sum”

  1. Desare M. says :

    Hi Anura! I am quite interested in this event not only for the personal experience but also because I am a college student who has to complete an ethnographic project for a cultural anthropology course.

    I would like to know what time do the festivities begin and is it free? Also just want to make sure that the date is definitely February 10..

    I would appreciate any feedback greatly!

    • aguruge says :

      As far as I know it is definitely Sunday, Feb. 10, the 2nd Sunday of the New Year.
      It DEFINITELY is totally, totally free.
      Just walk into China Town. That much I can guarantee. It is a public event. From our experience the parades start around noon and go on for hours. So I would definitely plan to be there by 11:30.
      I will do more research and post this coming week.
      We plan to go. With luck my son who is a Junior at Wheaton will join us. I told him a couple of days ago. My daughter and boyfriend too might make an appearance. It sounds strange but we have our family get togethers in China Town. If you too, as a College student, want to join us for Dim Sum, please do. ON ME. I can afford Dim Sum. (( SMILE )).
      Check the blog. I will post before Feb. 10. IF you find anything please let us know.
      Cheers, Anura

      • Desare M. says :

        Thank you so much for your prompt response..did not expect it to be so quick :)…It does not sound strange that your family get-together’s are in Chinatown..I am sure that there is a lot to see and do there..and if you all enjoy it then so be it! While I do not know that I will join you for Dim Sum I certainly do appreciate the was kind of you, however I do know that I will be attending the event!…Thank you and if I find anything else out I will be sure to share the information..Desare

      • aguruge says :

        I was wrong. It is Sunday, February 17, 2013. I kept on checking. Today, two credible Boston outlets claiming that it is the 17th. I updated the post and provided the links. Please check. SORRY. I was going to make some calls on Monday to make sure, but it looks fairly certain. Las Vegas has their Chinese parade on the 17th too. Anura

      • says :

        Hey! Don’t worry about it..I was on yesterday and they had a list “25 things to do in Boston for under $25″…Chinese New Year was on there listed as the 10th. While I understand there are two Sunday’s during the new year and the second is the one to attend there seem to be conflicting dates all over the internet. I did see one site..may have been a blog where the date listed was also the 10th and someone commented “are you sure it is not the 17th?” with that I will check tomorrow and see what I least there is still plenty of time to find out…and no biggie..thanx for letting me know! 🙂
        Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

      • aguruge says :

        As I had said in my post this 2nd Sunday can be a pain. To most Chinese the important Sunday is the 1st. The dragon parade etc. is show. The spiritual/emotional aspects are on the 1st. This is why we had ended up going so many times on the 1st Sunday. I checked my diary to make sure the 10th made sense. What clinched the deal was that the Las Vegas dragon parade is on the 17th. You can trust them to get it right. Well, see you in China Town. Usually I tell people to just look out for the Brown Guy. In China Town I have a little competition. But, I will be the old, Brown Guy with a big grin. Cheers.

  2. Fleur says :

    Hi! Do you know if there will be ANYTHING happening on the eve into the 10th?

    • aguruge says :

      From past experience Boston China Town will be packed during most of the 15 days, with shops and even sidewalk vendors selling all sorts of things in red – red the theme for New Year. It is the dragon parades and fireworks that are different. That is on the 17th. OK?

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