San Francisco Photo Tour

Chinese New Year Parade

Wheelchair accessible The celebration is very colorful and there are lots of exciting things to see. For over two hours you will hear firecrackers going off (firecrackers are illegal in San Francisco), lots of floats going by, and many performers.

This year will mark the year 4702 since the time of the Yellow Emperor in ancient China, according to the Chinese calender. Chinese New Year is celebrated on the first day of the Chinese Lunar Calender. each year is named after one of the 12 animals according to the Chinese Zodiac, this is the most important annual festival for the Chinese community. This year the new year begins on (Jan. 17-17, 2004) Chinese New Year Flower Fair , the Miss Chinatown USA Pageant (Jan. 30, 2004), Miss Chinatown Coronation Ball (Feb. 6, 2004), and the Chinatown Community Street Fair (Feb. 7-8, 2004) and the Chinese New Year Parade (Feb. 7, 2004).
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Note: All photos on this page are from past years.

The year of the Monkey

This is the year of the Monkey. If you was born in 1920,1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004 you was born under the sign of the Monkey, the ninth animal in the Chinese horoscope.

Fireworks electronic

The world-famous Chinese New Year Parade starts from Market and Second Streets to Columbus Avenue beginning at 5:30 pm on Saturday, Feb. 7, 2004. The parade moves from 2nd & Market Streets along Kearny to Columbus. The photo above is not real fireworks going off, it is special lights that are designed to look like real sky rockets exploding.

Human tree

There are several people that do balancing acts, this one is not as spectacular as some, you will see later. The people above are performing the "Tree of Life."

Chinese drummer's

Besides the sounds of the native drums there are marching bands from schools and many private groups. While you enjoy the colorful entries in the parade you will also hear many exciting sounds as the parade passes by.

Chinese deity

These people coming out of the smoke are dressed as ancient Chinese deities. I heard that walking through the red paper from the spent firecrackers will bring you good luck.

Chinese soldier's

These are ancient Chinese soldiers, and as they walk along the guys with the baskets on the side throw fire crackers under their feet.

Firecrackers under foot

Legend has it that by setting off fire crackers, "evil energy" will be driven away, and peace and good fortune can be attained.

Human pyramid

These ferocious lion dancers seem to be enjoying the exploding firecrackers as they perform their ancient ritual dance.

Kicking bowl's on head

Remember I told you about seeing a spectacular act, well this one was the best one in this year's parade. This girl is balancing herself on a unicycle is balancing bowls on her head and foot, she then kicks all the bowls on her foot to her head and balances them there.

Miss Chinatown 2000

This is Miss Chinatown 2000, I think she should be called Queen of the Parade because she is dressed like one. Some of these costumes cost thousands of dollars to design, and some of them are passed down from other generations.

Firecracker's going off

This is the grand finale of the parade, hundreds of thousands of firecrackers are set off all at once, and when the smoke clears it will be another year until their next parade.

So, GUNG HAY FAT CHOY ("Wishing you Prosperity").

The next stop on my Photo Tour is the "Carnaval Parade", to go there Click Continue Tour below.

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Photographed and created by David T. Smith

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