Vintage Photograph Shows Chinese New Year Celebrations on Mott Street in 1969

Feb. 17, 1969: Celebrations on Mott Street to ring in 4667, the Year of the Rooster, favored the lion to the dragon, which, though “there is a tremendous difference between a dragon and a lion in the Chinese tradition,” The Times reported, the main difference to the casual observer “is that dragons are about 30 feet long and require 17 men or boys to operate, while the lions are short and need only two men.” Indeed, “to be chosen to play the head of a lion is, for a Chinese male interested in the martial arts, a matter of prestige.”
Feb. 17, 1969: Celebrations on Mott Street to ring in 4667, the Year of the Rooster, favored the lion to the dragon, which, though “there is a tremendous difference between a dragon and a lion in the Chinese tradition,” The Times reported, the main difference to the casual observer “is that dragons are about 30 feet long and require 17 men or boys to operate, while the lions are short and need only two men.” Indeed, “to be chosen to play the head of a lion is, for a Chinese male interested in the martial arts, a matter of prestige.”

The Lively Morgue is a daily photo blog from the New York Times in which an original photo from the newspaper's archives is reposted along with tidbits of information gleaned from the historical article it accompanied. Along with a rescan of the original photograph, the backs of each photo are also scanned, giving a behind-the-scenes look at the editorial process of one of the world's best newspapers.

Today's post shows the Chinese New Year celebration on Mott Street in Manhattan's Chinatown in 1969.

Feb. 17, 1969: Celebrations on Mott Street to ring in 4667, the Year of the Rooster, favored the lion to the dragon, which, though “there is a tremendous difference between a dragon and a lion in the Chinese tradition,” The Times reported, the main difference to the casual observer “is that dragons are about 30 feet long and require 17 men or boys to operate, while the lions are short and need only two men.” Indeed, “to be chosen to play the head of a lion is, for a Chinese male interested in the martial arts, a matter of prestige.”

The original article from 1969 has more.

(photo back)
(photo back)
Mott St. and Mosco St
Matt Coneybeare

Matt Coneybeare

Editor in Chief

Matt enjoys exploring the City's food scene with his Wife and the outdoors with their dog. He is an avid marathon runner, and spends most of his time eating, running, and working on cool stuff.

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