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Washington DC Chinese New Year Parade

Each year a parade is held in Chinatown in Washington, DC to celebrate the Chinese New Year. The event features the traditional Chinese Dragon Dance, Kung Fu demonstrations and live musical entertainment. The Chinese New Year is a 15-day event that starts with the New Moon on the first day of the new year and ends on the full moon 15 days later. The first day of the year can fall anywhere between late January and the middle of February. Chinese New Year is the longest and most important festivity in the Chinese Lunar Calendar. The origin of Chinese New Year is itself centuries old and gains significance because of several myths and traditions. Ancient Chinese New Year is a reflection on how the people behaved and what they believed in the most.

Chinese New Year Parade in Washington, DC

The year 2011 is the Chinese year 4708. It is also known as the year of the "metal Rabbit," which, in Chinese, is called by its formal name "Xin Mao."

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Pageant Queens in Chinese New Year Parade, Chinatown DC

Three women of Chinese descent, resplendent with fur coats, sashes written in Chinese and tiaras, stop to smile and pose for our staff photographer February 6, 2011, during the Chinese New Year Parade.

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DC Police Officer's Son in Rabbit mask

A Metropolitan Police car cruises along 7th Street, NW in Washington, DC's Chinatown. The police officer's son is donning a rabbit mask in honor of the Chinese year of the rabbit.

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Lion Dancers in New Year Parade, Chinatown DC

Lion dancing is a form of traditional dance in Chinese culture, in which performers mimic a lion's movements in a lion costume. The lion dance is often mistakenly referred to as dragon dance. An easy way to tell the difference is that a lion is operated...

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Delegation from Taiwan displaying a CCBA banner

Delegation from Taiwan displaying a CCBA banner.
The Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA) was founded in 1883 to serve and protect the interests of the Chinese people. Historically it has performed a quasi-governmental role in the...

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Parade marchers displaying GADP - Taiwan/R.O.C. flag

Members of the Chinese New Year parade march down 7th street NW bearing a flag that reads "Global Alliance for Democracy and Peace - Taiwan, R.O.C." The purpose of this organization is to promote democracy and peace for the world in general and for...

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Dragon chasing the pearl dance

In the dragon chasing the pearl dance, a team of people carry the dragon — which is an image of the legendary Chinese dragon — on poles. A dragon can be composed of up to 50 people but oftentimes are manipulated by far fewer people.

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Close up of "The Dragon Dance"

The Dragon dance is a form of traditional dance and performance in Chinese culture. Similar to the lion dance, it is most often seen in festive celebrations. Many Chinese people often use the term "Descendants of the Dragon" as a sign of ethnic identity.

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The Lions Dance during Chinese New Year celebrations

Open mouth lion gaping at the photographer. Fascinatingly, the basic lion dance fundamental movements can be found in most Chinese martial arts dating back thousands of years.

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CACC's young girls with dragon heads

Young girls wearing Chinese American Community Center jackets parade down 7th street in NW Washington, DC with dragon heads during the Chinese New Year celebration Sunday, February 6, 2011

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Largest Chinese arch in the world

In 1986, the city dedicated the Friendship Archway, a traditional Chinese gate designed by local architect Alfred H. Liu. The colorful, $1 million work of public art includes 7 roofs up to 60 feet high, 7000 tiles, and 272 painted dragons in the style...

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Thousands of people gather on H Street

Thousands of people gather on H Street for the annual Chinese New Year parade which is held in DC's Chinatown. Because the track of the new moon changes from year to year, Chinese New Year can begin anytime between late January and mid-February.

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