I just spent a few minutes in Chinatown before the Chinese New Year events last weekend, but my camera seems to snap photos very quickly. Even though the year of the snake began the weekend before, the Chinese of Paris prefer to choose whatever they think will be a more, er, prosperous day for the crowds, because a big part of Chinese new year is prosperity.
I had gone to a movie in another part of the arrondissement in the morning, and when I got out, I walked to Chinatown. It is never very difficult to find, even if you don't know where it is.
The streets are decorated like for Christmas, except this is something else.
Lions abound, because the lion dance must be done in front of every shop and restaurant.
Meanwhile, the various groups were getting ready for the parade an hour later.
Still time to shop for all of the new year's specialities.
This is the first time I have seen so many garlands of firecrackers.
The Tang Frères supermarket was the source of free balloons if you wanted to stand in line.
Tang Frères is the biggest Southeast Asian food operation in Europe, but it has always kept its very first (and principal) store which was put in an old warehouse inside a courtyard. It has other supermarkets in the Paris metropolitan area which look totally normal -- if you are from Indochina.
If I were the person who had invented balloons for children, I would be so proud.
The various groups prefer to say that they come from extremely precise regions.
The local church was happy to participate in the festivities.
Hooray! What a red-letter day & you caught it for us. Fabulous pictures & everyone is obviously having a great time despite the cold. Of course my favorite, favorite things are those insanely wonderful goldfish. Did you get me one?
As I scrolled down, I thought how great the report was, but was dying to hear the fireworks. And hey ~~ you delivered! Not only can we hear them, that last shot of them fragmenting into your camera is killer. And shimmying lions, too!
I too love the multi national chinese and the riotous, in your face colours. The fireworks as always scare me, when there seems so little regard to health & safety. I love to see/ hear / smell fireworks but from a distance.
I've only just found your wonderful post Kerouac! I remember the fantastic photos you gave us last year and this year did not disappoint either. The video made it all come alive and like Bixa took note of how those fire crackers came shooting into your lens! Maybe one day I will experience it for real.......sigh
I am probably not the only person who wonders how the indigenous French get involved in these events when they don't have a drop of Asian blood. Well, I passed this little poster yesterday which gives the beginning of an explanation -- it proposes choir practice for non-Vietnamese to learn traditional Vietnamese songs, as well as lessons to play Vietnamese musical instruments... and dress in traditional Vietnamese costumes.