Chinese Lunar New Year: New Yorkers ring in Year of Ox in small celebration
CA, 14 Feb 2021
Around 50 New Yorkers braved the ongoing pandemic and cold February air to celebrate the Lunar New Year in Manhattan's Chinatown on Friday.
The gathering had many of the usual staples of the annual celebration including a lions' procession throughout neighbourhood streets, but an event that usually attracts thousands only saw dozens, who nevertheless came out to ring in the "Year of the Ox."
"Happy new year; may it be better than 2020," Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer said during a ceremony for the festivities.
"This community, perhaps like none other, stuck together, supporting the small businesses, supporting those who need the help the most."
Small and mid-sized businesses, the biggest employers, have been the hardest hit globally by fallout from the pandemic, with a fifth at risk of closing down permanently within months, said a 2020 study by the International Trade Centre.
But Chinatowns, in particular, have been hit harder and for longer, partly due to xenophobia related to the origins of COVID-19, which led to an avoidance of those areas, officials have said.
Those present at the celebration embraced an optimistic spirit and said they hoped the "Year of the Ox" would bring in a big change from the year before.
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