New York Daily Photo Analytics

Monday, February 11, 2008

Year of the Rat

Chinese New Year is a two-week long celebration and 2008 is the Year of the Rat. In most areas of the country, Chinese New Year goes by without notice, but in NYC most natives are aware of the holiday, even if they do not participate. We have a very large Chinese American population and 5 Chinatowns, with the one in Manhattan being best known (and largest in the Western Hemisphere).
A friend and I decided to make a short pilgrimage to Chinatown and ran across a celebration in front of Pearl River Mart (click here for a previous posting on this large Chinese department store). We arrived just in time to see the traditional dragon and lion dance, accompanied by a snow shower.
Our final destination was Mott street - this is Chinatown's central artery. Major festivities had just finished - the street was still closed with street cleaners sweeping confetti.
After my reading today, I am rethinking my views towards rats. The rat is the first sign of the Chinese zodiac and the list of attributes includes many traits not to be ashamed of: leadership, pioneering, conquerors, passionate, charismatic, practical, hardworking, organized, meticulous, intelligent, cunning, ambitious, strong-willed, energetic and versatile. So perhaps when some business owners and landlords are characterized as rats, the inference is not as negative as what I had originally thought :)


Lucy said...

the benefit of exposure to another culture, you see something differently, like the rat, for instance. Nice colors in the photo. Didn't realize there were five chinatowns in NYC.

Lorelai said...

I am proud to say it is my year- I'm a rat!

An Honest Man said...

Unfortunately the rat is somewhat maligned. I knew someone who kept rats as pets and they were clean, intelligent and very friendly.

But the inference is using it of people is all negative (as is calling someone an animal).

That photos have excellent colour though!

Uma por Dia said...

Now that i see several photos of the Chinese new year celebration I wonder why dont we see that in Portugal? Its a bit stange with so many chinese working here...

Anonymous said...

Wow. The colors are magnificent.