PHOTO: Celebrate Lunar New Year in San Francisco. (Photo via Flickr.com/Nicole Abalde)
Looking for a place to welcome in the Year of the Rooster as the Lunar New Year draws close?
While there are significant celebrations around the world, the U.S. is known for several of its amazing celebrations that showcase the diverse cultures of its Asian population. Here are just a few that capture the spirit of these celebratory times.
The oldest Chinatown in the U.S. celebrates Lunar New Year with a festival and a parade that dates back to the 1860s. The celebration in San Francisco is one of the largest Lunar New Year celebrations in the world and dates back to the mid-1800s.
The Grand Parade is the culmination of a 15-day festival and will take place on Feb. 11. It is watched by more than three million people each year, beginning at 5:15 p.m. at the corner of 2nd and Market streets and wrapping up around 8 p.m. after weaving through Chinatown to Jackson and Kearney.
L.A. is another U.S. city with a long history of Lunar New Year Celebrations. This year, on Feb. 5, the city will mark the 118th Chinese New Year parade and festival in Downtown’s Chinatown. Traditional music acts and kung fu demonstrations will occupy the stage at Chinatown Central Plaza and there will be plenty of food trucks on hand with local Asian delicacies as well as a beer garden, face painting and storytelling and paper folding for the kiddos.
In nearby Monterey Park, crowds of between 50,000 and 100,000 people gather for Lunar New Year celebrations that include stage performances, exotic food, shopping, carnival games and rides, a lantern exhibit and more. This year’s festival takes place Jan. 28-29.
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Head down to Chinatown to celebrate the Year of the Rooster in New York City. A host of celebrations will take place in the area with the biggest being the Chinese New Year Parade on Feb. 5. The procession officially begins at 1 p.m., which heads down Mott Street from Canal Street and winds through Sara Roosevelt Park.
There is also a New Year’s Day Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival in Chinatown, taking place on Jan. 28 at Sara Roosevelt Park.
In 2016, Houston’s Lunar New Year celebration was honored as the top festival. This year’s celebration will take place at the Viet Ho Center over Super Bowl weekend, Feb. 4-5. There will be a number of parades, lion and dragon dances as well as an abundance of fireworks that celebrates the Year of the Fire Rooster.
There will also be a special KidZone, a Lion Dance Arena and martial arts teams, showcasing Vovinam styles of Vietnam and the Shaolin Kung Fu traditions of China.
Nowhere knows how to throw a party like Vegas does, and Sin City won’t just be celebrating the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day in February. Lunar New Year celebration will welcome in the year of the rooster in Vegas with lion and dragon dances, special decorations, displays, dining and more.
Lion and dragon dances will take place at the LINQ Promenade, the Fashion Show Mall, Venetian - Palazzo, Downtown Las Vegas & Container Park, Forum Shops at Caesars Palace and Palace Station between Jan. 27 and Jan 30.
At the LINQ, a variety of other performances will take place between Jan. 27-30 between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. and the High Roller will be colored red and gold throughout the weekend.
Disney California Adventure
California definitely has its fair share of Lunar New Year events. Even Disneyland Resort gets in on the fun. At Disney California Adventure Park, visitors can celebrate the Lunar New Year from Jan. 20 to Feb. 5 to welcome the year of the rooster.
The park will feature a new water show, Hurry Home - Lunar New Year Celebration with Mulan and Mushu. Visitors will be able to sample a variety of foods from different Asian cultures and, in honor of the event, the park will be decorated with ornamental lanterns, special colors and festive decorations that reflect the year of the rooster.