Lunarfest 2024: The Year of the Dragon

Linda-Cristal Young | February 26th, 2024

Lunarfest 2024: The Year of the Dragon

Arts & Culture  |  Arts, Culture & Community  |  Lunar New Year

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Lions and dragons, oh my, at Lunarfest 2024. Linda-Cristal Young Photos.

Connecticut's largest Lunar New Year celebration took to the Whitney-Audubon Arts District in downtown New Haven to celebrate the Year of the Dragon with a feast of artistic expression and symbolism that captured the littlest parade goers to some of the biggest.

The Lions greeted children all along the parade route on Whitney Avenue on a cold Saturday morning, ushering in the spirit of good fortune. Children got to "feed" the Lions red envelopes, as provided by Lunarfest, to further encourage the spirt of luck and good fortune that permeates the celebration. The Year of the Dragon is considered to be a particularly auspicious year for luck and prosperity.

DSC06377Local leaders and organizer kicked off the Lunarfest parade with the Lion Dancers from Wan Chi Ming Hung Gar Institute.

DSC06423While strolling musicians with New Haven Chinese Cultural Cooperative helped create an accompanying soundtrack. 

DSC06442While New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker greeted the crowd outside.

DSC06476While members of Wu Dang Kung Fu Academy, a program of the New England Asian American Cultural Center, performed impressive feats that seemed to defy gravity. 

DSC06616Children got as close to dragon-like things as they could at the New Haven Free Public Library where they got to touch a T-Rex tooth as part of the Yale Peabody Museum's Lunarfest demo.


And some, like the, Castillo-Luna family participated in arts and crafts at Creative Arts Workshop with the Yale Repertory Theatre, creating secret messages with crayon and watercolors, as inspired by the upcoming production of The Far Country by Lloyd Suh. 


They also got lessons on calligraphy and creating one's own Lunar New Year decoration with the Association of Chinese Students and Scholars (ACSSY) at the Office of International Students & Scholars at Yale.

DSC06602And to hear some poetry at the Year of the Dragon Jam: Open Mic, hosted by Long Wharf Theatre and Witch Bitch Thrift, featuring New Haven author, poet and activist Sun Queen.

DSC06386But by far, getting pictures with the Lions was tops on the Lunarfest bucket list for a prosperous new year.