Art, Culture & Architecture

    Japan: Yokohama's Chinatown celebrates Lunar New Year with vibrant ceremony

    The Hawk
    March8/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    Experience the cultural tapestry that makes this event a symbol of harmony and historical charm, captivating both locals and visitors.

    Yokohama's Chinatown celebrates Lunar New Year

    Yokohama [Japan]: In a joyous celebration that brought together the rich cultural heritage of China and the warmth of Japanese hospitality, Yokohama's Chinatown recently hosted a spectacular Lunar New Year ceremony.
    The event, steeped in tradition, took place in the heart of Yokohama, underscoring the city's unique blend of history and diversity.

    Yokohama was historically closed to outsiders until its harbour opened in 1859. It witnessed the establishment of Chinatown six years later. In a remarkable collaboration between the Japanese and Chinese communities, the vibrant district formally declared its existence.
    The Lunar New Year ceremony, which began in China in 1865, still continues to be observed in a traditional manner in Yokohama. This year's event showcases the dragon dance, in honour of the dragon zodiac sign, which is considered sacred in both Chinese and Japanese cultures.
    Nobumasa Takahashi, the chairman of the Yokohama Chinatown Development Association, expressed his enthusiasm for this year's festivities.

    "This year, a dragon dance is performed. This year's zodiac sign is the Dragon, and I hope you will see this dragon dance more and more. Also, Chinese dress, called 'chi-pao,' is worn by women in this parade. I hope many people will feel Chinese culture and tradition," he stated.
    The event showcased a symbol of understanding and coexistence as both Japanese and Chinese languages resonated through the festivities. Yokohama, with its rich history and cultural tapestry, stood as the perfect backdrop for this historical feat, leaving a lasting impression on both locals and visitors alike.
    The Lunar New Year event in Yokohama serves as a bridge between old-time Japanese residents and the mobilised Chinese community, fostering a spirit of unity and shared celebration. Visitors to this celebration were captivated by the harmonization of people from different nationalities and praised the colourful dragon dance and vibrant parade.
    "I felt very happy watching everyone go to the parade. It's very colourful," remarked one visitor, while another expressed appreciation for Yokohama's historical charm. "Yokohama has old buildings, so I enjoy it a lot, just by taking a walk here, I learn history, as it's a very nice city," they shared.
    The Yokohama Chinatown Development Association emphasized that Chinatown is one of the city's distinctive features, contributing to Yokohama's allure. "I think Chinatown is one of Yokohama's killer contents.
    This event is not only the Chinese Lunar New Year but also the Yokohama Lunar New Year. So people can enjoy many properties not only in Chinatown but also in the old town area and Minato Mirai's new town area," added Nobumasa Takahashi.