The streets of Chinatown were shutdown Saturday as New Yorkers celebrated the Lunar New Year.

Lion dancers made their way through the streets of Chinatown during the Golden Lion Parade Saturday.

Performers moved to the beat of drums, gongs, and cymbals stopping in local businesses, to collect red envelopes containing money.

Participants tell us the custom is meant to bring good fortune and ward off evil in the coming year. 

"This is tradition," said one parade goer. "Lion dance to bring everyone good health, wealth."

"One club lion is passing and the second club's lion whenever they meet at an intersection, they stop, they bow to each other to show that one is not more powerful than the other," said another.

"It's a whole part of the Lunar New Year, friends, family and just celebrating good times together."

Organizers say the lion dancing tradition started in China more than a thousand years ago.

Lunar New Year festivities around the city will continue for the rest of the month.