Lunar New Year parties tinged with fear after Monterey Park shooting

Passion Julinsey joined the throngs watching a Lunar New Year parade of paper dragons and drums snaking through D.C.’s Chinatown neighborhood Sunday afternoon, even though

her mother warned her to stay home. The mass killing of 10 people after a Lunar New Year event in Monterey Park, Calif., a majority-Asian American suburb of Los Angeles,

cast a dark cloud over what was supposed to be one of the most festive weekends of the year. Despite her mother’s fears of another attack, Julinsey, a 49-year-old Thai

American, showed up to the festival, believing that celebrating an important Asian holiday is an act of solidarity. “I had to be discreet,” she said. “I am out here,

maintaining distance from the stage. But you can’t stop living. It’s a festive occasion. You can’t live in fear.” Asian Americans across the United States woke up to the

horrific news out of California for the first day of Lunar New Year, reviving fears about hate crimes and reigniting questions about whether to venture into the public. The mass

killing had ripple effects for celebrations across the country, with several events in Southern California canceled and police increasing patrols and other security measures in

the District, New York City, Houston, San Francisco and other cities with large Asian American communities.