Chinese New Year

Parade is grand finale for Lunar New Year celebrations

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

chow chow dog


Families and friends will gather in February to celebrate the arrival of the

Chinese New Year.


Traditionally a two-week celebration, the Chinese New Year is celebrated in the

City during a variety of events.


The Chinese New Year is based on the lunar calendar, and New Year’s Day is celebrated

on the first day of the first moon in the lunar calendar, which usually occurs between the

middle of January and the middle of February. This year’s events will mark the

beginning of the year 4716, the Year of the Dog.


People born in the Year of the Dog are said to be loyal and are able to keep secrets, but

they worry a lot. Years of the Dog are generally difficult years, meaning people will have

to work harder to overcome obstacles.


The New Year is a time for family gatherings. Traditionally, families meet for a dinner on

New Year’s Eve and visit friends and relatives after New Year’s Day celebrations. Other

traditions include a spring-cleaning to prepare for the upcoming year and the purchase

of spring couplets, a common tradition in China. Couplets consist of red paper with

Chinese poems written in black ink. They are expected to bring good luck. They can

be bought in many of Chinatown’s shops during the celebrations.


In San Francisco, the festival ends in Chinatown, with a large Chinatown parade

on Saturday, Feb. 24. The parade features floats, elaborate costumes, lion dancers,

exploding firecrackers and the newly crowned Miss Chinatown U.S.A. and her court. A

crowd favorite is the 268-foot-long Golden Dragon (“Gum Lung”), which takes a

team of more than 180 men and women from the martial arts group White Crane

to carry through the streets of San Francisco.


The Chinatown parade, which dates back to the 1860, is sponsored by Southwest Airlines.

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