Celebrate Chinese New Year!


Chinese New Year decorations 2 by mac_ivan (CC BY 2.0)

Hey everyone! Happy Chinese New Year! Can you smell the dumplings? Unlike the Gregorian year, which uses a solar calendar, the Chinese New Year is based on a lunar calendar. This is year 4,713. It is the year of the goat, sheep, or ram. Those born in the year of the goat are said to be gentle, sweet, and creative. Some famous people born in the year of the goat include Jamie Foxx, Michelangelo, Jane Austen, and Orville Wright! There are tons of celebrations taking place all over the world, California is home to a few of the most extravagant. Let’s take a look at some of the most fantastic celebrations taking place this year.

Inside Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year: Lantern Display
Chinese New Year by [Duncan] (CC BY 2.0)
Chinese New Year will have you seeing red. At celebrations people wear red, display red decorations, and even give away money to children in red envelopes! In most places that celebrate, a Lantern Festival is held on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month. A dragon dance takes place during this festival. Traditionally the dragon is made from silk, bamboo, and other native Chinese materials. In some places the dragon can be up to 100 feet long!

Chinese New Year Celebrations: Los Angeles

Chinese New Year: Temple
養心門 Gate of Mental Cultivation by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML (CC BY 2.0)

Head to Chinatown for all the festivities. On Saturday February 21st, you can take a Walking Tour and learn about the history behind Chinese New Year as well as Chinatown itself. Discover the hidden treasures as you make your way through temples, art galleries, and perfectly quaint street shops. Learn how to bargain at one of the many celebrated booths or simply enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the classically inspired plazas.

Chinese New Year Parade
Parade 台北燈節 by jeff~ (CC BY 2.0)

Afterward stick around for the Golden Dragon Parade. It’s free to the public! Don’t worry about parking. Keep things green and arrive by Metro. Witness the spectacular display of colors and music as you celebrate the year of the goat. The parade will feature several events lead by skilled artisans such as, Calligraphy by George Guojin Cui, Storytelling by Barbara Wong, and fruit and vegetable carving by THAIS, Inc.

Chinese New Year
Chinese Drums 同一个世界 同一个梦想 by familymwr (CC BY 2.0)

Following the parade the festival begins. Performances will feature death defying acrobatics and martial arts showcases. Enjoy the festivities as you’re transported into a world of teapot juggling, face changing, and otherworldly music. Follow the scent of dumplings and green onion pancakes to the gourmet cooking demonstrations. Capture the moment at one of the vintage photo booths so you can always remember your trip to the “Far East.”

Chinese New Year
Chinatown red by OiMax (CC BY 2.0)

Check out this list of some of the most popular place to celebrate Chinese New in Southern California. San Francisco is another city that has a prominent Chinese influence. Southwest Airlines puts on one of the biggest parades in California. Make sure to get moving this weekend! They’ll have celebrations taking place all throughout the city. Congratulations and be prosperous!

What Chinese New Celebrations are you most looking forward to? Tell me about them in the comments section below!