A little after noon on Saturday, a string of firecrackers sent off loud crackles and smoke billowed over several thousand people in Sara D. Roosevelt Park. After the climactic event, some traditional Chinese performances continued with tai chi, folk songs, dancing, and more.
By 1pm the crowds drawn to the park by the noise of firecrackers had slowly dispersed throughout Chinatown, filling local eateries and lining the streets with colorful paper and glitter.
Restaurants attracted passersby with mini lion dances on the street.
Saturday marked the start of the Chinese New Year celebration and was merely a teaser for what’s to come. The official 18th annual Lunar New Year Parade begins Sunday, February 5 at noon.
In the meantime, check out more photos from the firecracker ceremony and cultural festival from around the internet.