Chinatown in San Francisco is always a big deal/time/event. With quite possibly the biggest Chinese population outside of China, San Francisco’s Chinatown has a whirlwind of culture all its own. And come the beginning of the Chinese New Year in February, this event is one event you shouldn’t miss. Perhaps the biggest celebration for most Chinese throughout the world, the Chinese New Year is a family time, a time to eat traditional foods, set off fireworks, and attend the annual all-out blow-out Chinese New Year’s Parade. San Francisco’s Chinatown during Chinese New Year is the best of the best as far as celebrations are concerned.
This San Francisco tradition began back in the Gold Rush days (think 49ers) and continues into today. Festivities begin to roll out a couple weeks before the parade (which, incidentally, is slated for February 23rd, 2013), and consist of Lunar New Year celebrations at the zoo, San Jose Museum of Art, and at various other hosting locations throughout the city. Typical celebrations include dancing in costume, crafts, music, and traditional foods.
Other fun activities include a Miss Chinatown USA Pageant where young women from all over the country compete for prizes and scholarships, a San Francisco Chinese New Year Treasure Hunt ,a flower market and some killer martial arts demonstrations. And then of course there’s the big parade itself.
Picture elaborate dragon puppets, lots of flowers, fireworks, and gold and red dancers, martial artists and floats. The parade is a huge event, and is one of the signature events of the year, every year. If you’re in San Francisco for the Chinese New Year, you’re in luck – it’s a one of a lifetime experience.
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