CHINATOWN — Hundreds of people headed to Chinatown Sunday, ushering in the Year of the Horse at the annual family-friendly parade.
The celebration, based on phases of the moon dating back thousands of years, marks the passing of the Year of the Snake and the introduction of what Anita Luk, executive director of the Chinese-American Museum of Chicago, described as a sign of perseverance.
"A horse is hardworking and full of action," she said. "So this is a year of action."
The parade featured dozens of floats at Chinatown's iconic streets and arches and drew hundreds of new year revelers including Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Ald. Danny Solis (25th), whose ward includes Chinatown.
The celebration marked the third day of the lunar new year, which began Friday.
Following the main celebration, pairs of traditional lion dancers visited neighborhood businesses with drummers and groups of admirers in tow, including Natalia Rubinstein and her 6-year-old daughter, Mia, who came down from Rogers Park to celebrate Chinese New Year for the first time.
Mia held a child-sized puppet replica of the colorful lion dancers who performed Sunday — according to Rubinstein, the high-flying dragons and lions were the best part of their day.