Gung Ha Fat Chow – Happy New Year
The best part of living in a multi-cultural city like Los Angeles? There’s always something to celebrate!
Heralding in the Year of the Sheep, Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations take place in many locations in the Southland. It’s time to explore neighborhoods where Chinese characters are more prevalent than English letters and discover how to travel the world without leaving L.A. County.
The Chinese New Year Festival (Feb. 21) kicks off at the Central and West Plazas (easily reached by the Metro Gold Line) and features the sights, smells and sounds of Asia including the famed Lion Dancers and this year’s 116th Annual Golden Dragon Parade which runs from 1-4 pm along North Broadway and Hill Streets.
More information at lagoldendragonparade.com.
Feeling adventuresome? Join the Great Chinatown Hunt on Feb. 22 and follow clues that will take you through the neighborhood’s most colorful areas. Discover ancient traditions alongside experimental art; explore picturesque alleyways and traditional temples, bustling shops and hidden courtyards.
More information at www.racela.com
Welcome the Year of the Sheep with this colorful festival/carnival on Feb. 21 on Valley Boulevard, the heart of the Chinese commercial district in the San Gabriel Valley.
From 10am -5pm, five city blocks will be transformed into a street party with booths, cultural demonstrations, and a dragon boat rowing station, children’s workshop and ethnic food offerings. Entertainment on two stages will feature all-day fun with lion dances, kung-Fu demonstrations and more. The God of Fortune will be giving away traditional Chinese red envelops which is thought to bring good luck.
More information at www.alhambranewyearfestival.com.
The Pacific Asia Museum holds their Lunar New Year Festival on Jan. 31 from 11 am – 5pm in their tented parking lot. This free day offers performances including song, dance, puppet shows, acrobatics, magic, martial arts and even opera. See how artisans craft ceramics and pottery, lanterns, sculptures and embroidery. Kids can join art-making workshops to create sheep crafts, firecrackers, calligraphy and more.
More information at www.pacificasiamuseum.org.
Ring in the Lunar New Year at this popular community festival that takes place Feb. 7-8 in downtown Monterey Park on Garvey Avenue between Ramon and Alhambra Avenues. The dancing lion and dragon dancers along with fire cracking noisemakers officially starts the festival which includes food booths, amusement rides and artisan gift and specialty items for sale.
More information at: www.montereypark.ca.gov/669/Lunar-New-Year-Festival
Lantern Festival at the Chinese American Museum
The Chinese American Museums holds a Lantern Festival on Olvera Street on March 7 to signify the end of the traditional two-week Lunar New Year celebrations. Live entertainment, acrobatics, musical and dance performances, magic acts and free entrance to the museum. Join in workshops to learn: abacus-making, Chinese paper-cutting, kite-making, origami and more.
More information at http://camla.org/lalanternfestival/
Chinese Garden at the Huntington Library
For a more reflective celebration that’s not tied to a specific date, take a walk through the lovely Chinese Garden, the Garden of Flowering Fragrance, at the Huntington Library and Gardens. This artful and peaceful landscape is amongst the largest Chinese-styled gardens outside of China – and it’s not even completed yet. (New elements, buildings and water features are in the works.) Even so, the garden is a delight and families can take an official tour, enjoy an authentic meal at the lovely Tea House or just wander in the splendor of how builders, gardeners and artists worked together on this botanical wonder.
More information at www.huntington.org
Yamaguchi Bonsai Nursery
For more than 60 years, this West LA nursery has been the go-to place for gardeners and designers. It’s also a great place to walk around, admiring the expertise and craftsmanship of this ancient art. Learn the difference between Chinese and Japanese bonsai, check out the private collection on site and maybe design your own bonsai to take home and master.
More information: http://yamaguchinursery.com/
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