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CHINATOWN, Manhattan (PIX11) — The snow was being cleared from the streets in Chinatown on Monday in preparation for Lunar New Year celebrations.

It’s the year of the tiger. Celebrations begin Tuesday and will continue for two weeks. 

The tiger is known for being courageous, brave, and inspiring good health. The hope is for good fortune so small businesses in the neighborhood can survive the pandemic. To help festivities go off without a hitch, the NYPD is increasing police patrols.

Typically, about 2 million people flood Chinatown during Lunar New Year celebrations, but foot traffic has dwindled since the pandemic began. Additionally, the neighborhood as well as the rest of the city has seen an increase in anti-Asian hate crimes. Reported hate crimes citywide have increased by 361% in one year, according to the NYPD.

Businesses are hoping the year of the tiger will turn things around and bring back prosperity. Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens) introduced new legislation to create a federal holiday for Lunar New Year.