Last updated on September 7th, 2017
Freezing outside in Paris? No more Christmas and New Year holidays to look forward to, and you have already picked up all the crumbs from your Kings’ day galette des rois (a flaky buttery frangipane – an almond paste- filled pie eaten on the 6th of January to celebrate the Three Wise Men)…
Here’s another reason to celebrate! Head to one of Paris’ quartiers chinois (Chinatowns) and celebrate the Lunar New Year! The Lunar New Year starts on the 23rd of January 2012, and celebrations last two weeks, until the day of the first full moon after New Year. So that’s plenty of time to have lots of fun. 2012 is the year of the Dragon, said to be the most auspicious zodiac animal. So, to welcome in such a big personality, we chose to head to the parade organized in the Mother of all Paris Chinatowns, in the Treizième (Thirteenth, as in the 13th district of Paris). We grabbed our cameras, earplugs just in case (for the firecrackers…), and left on empty stomachs, ready to fill them with just as auspicious (and yummy) food!
The parade on the 29th of January was one noisy, colourful and busy affair. Dragons floated over the crowd, while cheeky and agile lions, martial artists and dancers in bright costumes and masks flowed through the packed avenues to the sound of gongs, drums and firecrackers. We grabbed a sandwich vietnamien (Vietnamese sandwich) at our favourite take away, Hoa Nam. Just imagine lemongrass infused thinly sliced beef, with lots of fresh herbs and salad, tossed together in a French baguette. The best of both worlds. The perfect parade break.