ITHACA, N.Y. — Following a more than 100-year-old spring tradition, a massive dragon crafted by first-year architecture students at Cornell University was paraded through campus Friday.

Cornell’s Dragon Day is one of the university’s best-known traditions and its inception is credited to alumnus Willard Dickerman Straight who believed there should be a day dedicated to the College of Architecture, according to a history noted on the architecture department’s website. The day also highlights the rivalry between architecture and engineering students, who create a phoenix. The celebration comes just before students head off for spring break next week.

The sea of costumed students leading the charge helped brighten a gray, damp day on campus. Architecture students sported all sorts of creative costumes — from Pokemon to candy bars, soy sauce, fruits, and ramen packets. The students drummed, chanted and danced along the route, leading the wooden dragon down University and East avenues, before turn on Campus Road and heading through Ho Plaza. The dragon then met its end at the Arts Quad by Sibley Hall.

Cornell live streamed the parade and has several video posts available here.

Scroll through photos from this year’s celebration. All photos by Managing Editor Kelsey O’Connor.

Kelsey O'Connor

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.