In the 1870s, newspapers began describing with great interest Chinese New Year celebrations in New York’s fledgling Chinatown. Even before Chinese Exclusion made entry and reentry into the US difficult, working Chinese migrants who could not afford regular steamship passage back to China gathered together for a banquet and a game of mahjong in the Chinese Temple on 12 Baxter Street, which was “brightly illuminated” and “decorated with colored paper lanterns, flowers, and wax candles” for this occasion. Early celebrations were described as quiet affairs, unlike in later decades when a New York Tribune report in 1894 proclaimed that “all kinds of oriental noises and jollifications” could be heard on Mott, Pell, Doyers and adjoining streets and “gung hei fat choi” salutations “became so common that even the street urchins took up the cry.” Music from home could be heard coming from the temple and Chinese, dressed in their near year’s new clothing and carrying lucky red envelopes, feasted and visited with family and friends. Later still, in the 1920s and ‘30s, celebrations grew more elaborate and public to incorporate a street parade, with loud fireworks, gongs, and lion dancers that were more in keeping with tradition back in China. The selected photographs from MOCA’s archive document these public street celebrations of Chinese New Year in Chinatown through the decades beginning with the 1930s. Many of the shots capture lion dancers trained in local martial arts schools spreading good luck and prosperity to Chinatown’s businesses.