Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year, is not only a holiday celebrated in Asia, but also around the world. Angelenos are lucky to live in a city that offers up tons of celebrations for the Lunar New Year. Enjoy many activities, amazing fireworks displays and some of the best traditional dragon dancing, all of which contribute to community relationship building right here in LA.
114th Annual Golden Dragon Parade & Chinese New Year Festival
715 N. Hill St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Hours: Feb. 16 to 17, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles hosts the 114th Annual Golden Dragon Parade, a spectacular Chinatown event that many attend for the elaborate floats and to celebrate cultural diversity. People from miles around come to watch as fireworks are launched and to be entertained by musicians and dancers. Some of the acts that participate in this event include marching bands and dragon line dancers.
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Alhambra New Year Festival
Valley Blvd. between Garfield St. and Almansor Drive
Alhambra, CA 91801
Hours: Feb. 16, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Bring in the Lunar New Year and join thousands of others in Alhambra. There will be plenty of booths set up, filled with art and jewelry along with an assortment of delicious meals to try. This event has activities for all ages and even a health fair. Festival attendees can expect to see cultural dances and performances to celebrate the Lunar New Year and Asian heritage. Children will enjoy all the kid’s workshops, dragon boat rowing, and an auto square.
Midnight Temple Ceremony In Chinatown
Chuan Thien Hau (Cam Au) Temple
750-756 N Yale St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Hours: Feb. 9, 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.
This midnight service starts off the Chinese New Year with members of the community coming together in Chinatown. Here, Buddhist, Taoist and other Asian community leaders will gather to usher in a prosperous new year, the Year of the Snake. Participants can watch as fireworks are lit, offerings are made, and incense is used in ceremony. Families will get a chance to see lion dancers and rituals that are said to ward off evil spirits.
Chinese New Year’s Day Celebration
943-951 N Broadway St.
Los Angeles, California 90012
Hours: Feb. 16, noon to 8 p.m.; Feb. 17, noon to 5 p.m.
The Chinese New Year Celebration at Central Plaza is a must-see event. Guests can take in musical performances and even participate in a singing competition. There will be workshops that focus on Asian culture that is open to all ages. Families will get a chance to indulge in some delicious food from the many food vendors selling Asian dishes and there will also be food trucks available. Beer will be accessible for adults at the beer garden.
L.A. Tet Festival 2013
Corner of 60 FWY & Rosemead Blvd.
El Monte, CA 91770
Hours: Feb. 16 and 17, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The Tet Festival is the Vietnamese community’s Lunar New Year celebration. The Vietnamese do it big with an all-day celebration that starts in the morning and last late into the night. School bands will help kick off the year with their music selections. Some of the events that draws in hundreds of people include fireworks, dragon dancing, fashion show, pageant, talent and costume contests, martial art demonstrations, comedy skits, traditional dances, and even a magic show. Another favorite of guests at this event is the array of foods that are for sale. To top it off this festival gives away free red envelopes to children.
Cassandra Bautista is a freelance writer from Los Angeles. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.