Gong xi fa cai! – Happy New Year!
Our very first evening in San Francisco was quite eventful – while wandering the streets after dinner, Jiwon and I just so happened to encounter the Chinese New Year parade. We found it weird because the New Year was like 3 weeks ago, and they’re celebrating it now, but I’m not complaining – I got to see “one of San Francisco’s signature events!” (SFGate)
We originally planned to walk straight to Chinatown, but since the parade cut across the city, Jiwon and I had to find a detour. While trying to do this, we saw the same 3 floats twice…so the photo above actually shows round 2 of the same float from the first picture!
Finally, we made it to Chinatown. What I did not expect, however, was for people to set off fireworks all over the place. As a result, the streets were LOUD! The sudden pops of sound took some getting used to. I can only imagine what it was like in China during the actual new year celebration?
I’ve never celebrated the New Year in China (booo, school), but I feel like I got a small taste of what it would have been like. Tons of people out on the streets, fireworks setting off every few minutes, and lots of noise & chaos. While it may have been exciting for a little while, I was glad to return to peace and quiet outside of the neighborhood (sort of…they were also cleaning the streets that night. Sigh.). San Francisco sure welcomed us with a bang!
Have you ever celebrated the Lunar/Chinese New Year? How did you celebrate?
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