All Women's Talk

San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade ...

By Mary

San Francisco’s Chinese New Year Parade, celebrating the Year of the Boar (Lunar Year 4705), will begin on Saturday, March 3rd at 5:30 pm. The parade will start at 2nd & Market, ending in the heart of Chinatown. This parade is one of the few remaining illuminated Parades in the country, and is consistently named as one of the Top Ten Parades in the World.

This year’s parade promised to be no less spectacular than years past, with over 100 entries that include floats, elaborate costumes, fierce lions, firecrackers, and the newly crowned Miss Chinatown and her court. You won’t want to miss the Golden Dragon. It is over 200 feet in length, and takes a crew of over 100 people to carry and parade the dragon throughout the streets.

The San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade started back in the 1860’s as a way for the Chinese community to share their culture with those unfamiliar with it. Combining the Chinese culture with a strictly American tradition – a parade – it was an effort to become part of a new culture while maintain the traditions of a lifetime.

In 1959, the Chinese Chamber of Commerce took over the responsibility and direction of the Parade, moving it to the evening and making it a torchlight parade. The Parade and accompanying two-week festival has grown to become the largest celebration of Asian culture outside of Asia.

Reserved bleacher seating for this year’s parade has already sold out, so you’ll have to find a spot along the parade route to view the festivities. The streets will be more crowded the closer you get to Chinatown. Or, watch from the comfort of your home or hotel room on KTVU/Fox 2, or KTSF, Channel 28 (Chinese broadcast). The parade lasts about two and a half hours.

I’ve been in the San Francisco area for most weekends the past couple months. However, this weekend I’ll be in a different part of the country and will be missing the parade. If anyone gets some great photos, please let me know!

Photo credit: flickr


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