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Flag of France Chinese New Year’s day at
Belleville Chinatown

zodiac tiger14 Feb 2010; it is the first day of the Year of the Tiger or année du tigre as the French would say.

Belleville Chinatown has a lower profile compared to the main Paris Chinatown 13 arrondissement. There were no public displays like the rows of couplets in Paris Chinatown 13 arrondissement but in any case, the signs of Chinese New Year celebrations were still detectable everywhere.

Almost every Chinese shop has Chinese New Year couplets and decorations on their windows and doors while retail shops started offering Chinese New Year goods.

On the first day of the Year of the Tiger, many businesses welcomed the tiger by inviting a lion dance troupe to perform at their place. Some of these shops even prepared a roll of firecracker and ignite it just before the lion dance performance.

As the lion moved from place to place, a small crowd gathered and followed the lion wherever it went. The lion dance, the firecrackers and the growing audience help create a very festive mood in the Chinatown.

The Chinese New Year is also being celebrated privately among family, friends and institutions. The newly established Indochinese Clan Association, Association D’union Des Indochinois En France (旅法印支华人会馆), for example was decorated, welcoming members and wishing each other a happy new year.

With or without public decorations, Chinese New Year continues to be celebrated by everyone in this Chinatown and as they welcome the tiger, they look forward to a new year full of hope and aspirations.

Event date: 14 February 2010, Sunday
1st day of the 1st lunar month, year of the tiger
庚寅年正月初一

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