Tag Archives: LNY

Year of the Pig at Oakland Museum and in SF!

Lunar New Year Sunday, February 10, 12–4 pm

OMCA will ring in the Year of the Pig with our 18th Annual Lunar New Year Celebration. Join us for a daylong festival celebrating the diverse Asian cultures represented in California with live music and dance performances, hands-on activities, and much more.

Easy to get to on BART, only one block away from 10th Street–Lake Merritt BART.

Lunar New Year – February 5 – marks the beginning of a new year on the traditional Chinese calendar and is the biggest annual event celebrated by many Asian cultures including Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Korean. 

Most of the top traditions of Chinese New Year observed during the 15-day holiday serve one purpose: to usher in a year of good fortune and prosperity.

The ancient Chinese lunar calendar, on which Chinese New Year is based, functioned as a religious, dynastic and social guide. Oracle bones inscribed with astronomical records indicate that the calendar existed as early as 14th century B.C., when the Shang Dynasty was ruling.

IN SAN FRANCISCO:  The 2019 Chinese New Year Parade is on Saturday, February 23. It starts at 5:15 pm at the corner of 2nd and Market Streets in San Francisco, and is one of the largest in the world. There will be lots of fun events for the lunar new year in both February and March. There are hundreds of lively parade entries! The parade includes several floats, the largest and most popular of which is the 28-foot-long Golden Dragon. It takes a team of more than 100 people to operate and move it through the streets of San Francisco. It then weaves its way through Chinatown and ends at Jackson and Kearny Streets. The parade usually ends around 8pm.

Get there early, take BART to the Montgomery station.

Oakland Museum of California.1000 Oak Street @ 10th Street–Lake Merritt BART

Lunar New Year – The Lantern Festival

The Lantern Festival

The Lantern Festival, also called Yuan Xiao Festival. It honors deceased ancestors on the 15th day of the first month (Yuan) of the lunar calendar. The Lantern Festival aims to promote reconciliation, peace, and forgiveness. The holiday marks the first full moon of the new lunar year and the end of the Chinese New Year. During the festival, houses are festooned with colorful lanterns, often with riddles written on them; if the riddle is answered correctly, the solver earns a small gift.

The Lantern Festival may originate as far back as the Han dynasty (206 bce to 220 ce), when Buddhist monks would light lanterns on the 15th day of the lunar year in honor of the Buddha. The rite was later adopted by the general population and spread throughout China and other parts of Asia. A legend concerning the festival’s origin tells the tale of the Jade Emperor (You Di), who became angered at a town for killing his goose. He planned to destroy the town with fire, but he was thwarted by a fairy who advised the people to light lanterns across the town on the appointed day of destruction. The emperor, fooled by all the light, assumed the town was already engulfed in flames. The town was spared, and in gratitude the people continued to commemorate the event annually by carrying colorful lanterns throughout the town.

Festival celebrations also include lion and dragon dances, parades, and fireworks.

Each year for Lunar New Year, in SF the Chinatown area comes to life with Cherry blossoms, and preparations for the upcoming Lunar New Year parade.THIS YEAR: Chinese New Year is on Tuesday, February 5, 2019. It is so much fun to see this parade and very loud too.  I have been able to walk in the parade with my company 3 times, that is thrilling – we were surrounded by thousands of clapping spectators,  stilt walkers, Lions, dragons, high schools, martial artists and local civic groups. — the editor