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Union Square, a Golden Dragon and the Year of the Dog: Happy Chinese New Year!

Written by Cindy Marie Jenkins on Friday, February 23rd, 2018 at 11:41am.

A great Chinese Emperor invites all of the animals to his palace for a birthday dinner. The order of their arrival determines their place on the Chinese Zodiac, because let's face it, that's about as intentional as any astrology belief. Rat and Cat hitch a ride across the river on Ox, but Rat kicks Cat off before they reach shore and so Cat never gets a zodiac year of her own. The race continues, with Dragon helping Rabbit across and some animals fighting and others cooperating. Dog came in at eleven out of twelve, because he wanted a bath and the river waters were just too tempting. And so each animal was assigned a spot in the twelve year cycle, humans born in certain years are assigned character traits of their corresponding animal, and here we are in 2018, The Year of the Dog.

That mythology is rooted in the 5th or 6th century; now fast forward to the 1860s and the Chinese immigrants are looking for a way to share their heritage with neighbors in the San Francisco area. A celebration of their New Year was the perfect fit, and is now one of the biggest and most widely known events in the Bay Area.

Know today as the Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade, this year crowds converge onto San Francisco Saturday, February 24, and there are some key facts you should know if you plan to join.

  • It's the biggest parade celebrating the lunar new year outside of Asia.

  • The Golden Dragon requires 180 people from the local martial arts group, White Crane, to carry it through the San Francisco streets.

  • This year's dragon is twenty feet longer than it's ever been, clocking in at 288 feet.

  • Since its inception after the mid 19th century Gold Rush, the event has been helmed by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce. Earlier in the month, a smaller parade marks the original route.

  • Although it starts from Second and Market Streets at 5:15 PM, they highly suggest that you get to your ticketed bleacher seats by 4:30 PM.

  • A group of folklore artists traveled from Beijing and will present their shadow puppets in the parade for the first time.

  • This year's theme is diversity and unity, which Bay Area native and event co-producer Kevin Lu created in the spirit of San Francisco .

If that Bay Area spirit is aligned with your personality, Search With Style and you just might find the right fit for you.

 

 

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