A Midnight Excursion in Pursuit of the Lion Dance

Christina and friends visit Chinatown on the eve of the Chinese New Year.

Last Friday, I invited a group of my friends to Chinatown to watch the Chinese New Year Eve Lion Dance at night. Not only had I never been to an eve celebration, but most of my friends had never been to Chinatown before.

After class ended at 7 p.m., I drove a few minutes to the Glenside train station. The plan was to take the train to Market East, walk to Chinatown, eat dinner, explore, watch the Lion Dance at 11:30 p.m., and then take the last train back to Glenside at 12:40 a.m.

Although Philadelphia’s Chinatown is relatively small compared to the Chinatown in New York, it has a rich atmosphere with food, culture, and people surrounding visitors. We passed under the Chinatown gate and headed toward the restaurants for a big family-style dinner together. After dinner, we had some time to explore the city before the parade, so we walked to Love Park, visited City Hall, and took the subway down to Old City. When we returned to Chinatown, my friends and I were excited to see the Lion Dance.

When it was officially Chinese New Year, people cheered and my friends and I danced to the beat of the parade drum. It was exciting and rewarding to share my Chinese background with my friends. They tried new food, learned phrases in Mandarin (we can all give them credit for trying!), and experienced an entirely different environment from what they are used to.

I have posted some photos from my adventures in the cold. Hope you enjoy!

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