California

Celebrating Chinese New Year

Did you celebrate Chinese New Year this month? Is there any Asian community in your close proximity? If not, well, you missed out. 😀 I hope this post can convince you to attend to one next year.

If you did join in the fun, then you know how awesome it was. If you haven’t found any Asian area in your community, well find it!

You’ve been warned. This post contains excessive amount of pictures due to eventful happenings the celebration brought to the public.

First off, Gung Hay Fat Choi!

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This is how Chinatown in Los Angeles was when it’s just a regular day – Chinatown in Los Angeles.

Did you look? Yeah, right. You didn’t.

Here is it now. BAM!

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When I got there, it was, immediately, follow-the-drumbeat chase. What goes with the music are the lions dancing. This is the first Chinese celebration I ever attended so, I’m not going to lie, I was static.

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It’s so clever of them to put on comfortable bottoms and shoes for the lions to wear because they paraded all over the streets stopping at different establishments around Chinatown.

You are going to see those papers and that guy with a Chinese yo-yo later again. But for now …

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Ow! There’s food trucks and live music stage as well.

The snakes are smart, and also cunning and conniving. The emcee said that fact is good for business. The order of the animals was determined by a race. Snakes, being what they are, snaky, jumped on top of the horse. Close to the finish, it hopped out, slithered it’s way to finish line, and it became the 6th animal out of the twelve. OH SNAP!

People here celebrated The Year of the Snake with a BANG!

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This guy enlivens the spirit of the snakes. He’s so smart …

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Now onto the main stage in Central Plaza. This is Hou Kai. The star of the show. He was on to a good number of acrobatic performances.

Click on the images to see my caption.

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This is a cool shot of mine. 😀

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What I also love about the show was they also showcased other Asian culture as well. At one point, I heard a Filipino song playing. There were Americans performing Martial Arts. This next collage shows Cyr Wheel (similar manner of German wheel), a Cantonese music ensemble and more Chinese acrobatic exhibitions (to include balancing three eggs – GASP).

The acrobatic performances are WHOAsome, but the Lion Dance performance was so cool. At first, the lion and the guy are, like, fighting, battling each other. Then, the guy with feathery headpiece tamed the lion with this red card that he’s holding. Wherever he sways the red card, the lion acts on it. It was beautiful.

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Hang tight. Stay with me. Let’s go back to the Paper-Folded Snake I mentioned earlier in the post. A Sesame-Balls Eating Contest in Mandarin Plaza as well.

Last. There’s more activities going on in West Plaza. Calligraphy, face clay sculpture, dough sculpture, (not seen) magician, storytelling and other arts and craps … sorry typo, crafts.

So, I was exhausted walking around LA Chinatown being happy-snappy. And Geez, Luiz! I’m exhausted composing this darn post. I hope I made my point that this event is fun and that I convinced you to attend any events of other cultures in your area.

Not agreeing? This girl does…

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Kung Hei Fat Choi!

*wipes forehead*

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60 replies »

  1. Nice, nice! The little girl’s picture, so adorable! That was a great way to celebrate Chinese culture! For some reason, I missed out on all the new year happenings in Manila! Kung Hei Fat Choi!

  2. I’ve lived so many years of great Chinese New Year celebrations in Singapore and Hong Kong. Missed out this year, so it’s lovely to see your pics.
    Nina

    • For you, It’s okay that you missed out on this event. You can RV away and explore the great outdoors. 😉
      How I wish I explored Singapore during my 2-day stay there.

  3. Thanks for sharing this, Rommel! You have a great Chinatown! Store merchants give money in the red envelopes so they have good luck and prosperous business for the year. They often tease the lion with it hanging at the end of a pole. The guy inside the head will grab it finally. It’s called ‘li see’ (lee see). If you serve your elders tea, they will give you a li-see on Chinese New Year! You can give good luck money to your young nephews and nieces at Christmas, birthdays- just put it in the little red envelope. ~Liz

    • Well, thank you back for your precious knowledge of the Chinese New Year tradition. I knew about the money but didn’t know about the other things. Thanks for the share as well, Liz.

      • You’re welcome, Rommel! I’m 3rd generation Chinese and sad to say, I don’t know much about my culture or a dialect to speak. ~Liz

  4. Thank you, Thank you, Rommel!! We have none of these here, Geez! Instead we went to the annual Rodeo show 😀
    I haven’t seen Lion dancing for ages, this one is gorgeous. I’m just thrilled to see the red lanterns, yo yo, calligraphy, lion dancing… Very cool! Was it a day long celebration? How was the food?
    So, that’s how the snake became the 6th animal out of the twelve, I learned something new today 😀 Gung Hay Fat Choi!

    • A Rodeo Show post in the offing, I suspect. 🙂 It wasn’t a day long. It was both days of the weekend but around 11 – 4. I was there very early as I stopped elsewhere prior going to the event. I walked off early after the shows actually but I know I covered most of the happenings.

      Thanks for the linkage. 🙂

  5. Woah, what a fun Chinese New Year Celebration! It was raining very hard in my hometown, so everybody ran back home or went to the temple where we enjoyed lion and dragon dance. 😀
    Gong Hay Fat Choi! San Nin Fay Lok!

  6. Our celebration in San Francisco is next Saturday. But yesterday we did have a neat surprise finding two dragons dancing in a little alley in Chinatown. I took some pictures and when I get it all together you’ll see it over at my blog 🙂 Gung Hay Fat Choy !

    • I bet San Fran celebrates it even more festive as the one in LA. I think I encountered enough crowd for the month. 😀 We’ll see about your post of the parade.

  7. Great pictures!! I did attend the celebrations in my university, where there are around a hundred Chinese students studying. It sure was a lot of fun, but not as extravagant as this one!! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • Well at least they still honored the Lunar New Year given the number of Chinese in your university. I rarely see a group with ample amount of Chinese people.
      Thanks for the visit and comment.

  8. amazing celebration! It’s like year after year they’re making it more fun, so festive. That’s what I love about Chinese people,they’re very creative when it comes to celebrating their new year. As always, great pictures, glad that you shared them 🙂

  9. Rommel It’s obviously the ONLY place to be for Chinese New Year ! I’m gasping at all the antics you managed to capture there ..eggs balanced …the awesome splits … happy faces and foodie delights …

  10. Aha! I now know what it’s called: Cyr Wheel lol… Remember, I posted about this sometime when in Venice beach. Anyway, it was also fun over here esp when the dragon dance started and visited all establishments. I live the in a place called Little Taipei where almost every establishments are Taiwanese. Hmmm… yummy? 😀

    • Little Taipei, huh? I only know of Little Tokyo which I plan to go to someday. I know you said you’re near Hsi Lai Temple. I’d like to go back there and maybe check out Little Taipei as well. 😉

  11. Wonderful set of photos, Rommel.It looks like so much fun and fabulous entertainment. That “HA!” guy balancing on one hand is so awesome, and the little girl at the end, really cute. Thanks so much for sharing. 🙂

  12. who needs to attend a festival when Rommel does the virtual tour so well…really felt the energy coming through these photos. your festive personality shines with every description you write about. whew. where is the tea house? i’m exhausted. 🙂
    love your collection. ♥

  13. You captured the energy, color and spirit of the Chinese New Year celebration. Did you get to eat some celebration food – like tikoy and mooncake? I do not know though how they call ‘tikoy’ in this part of Chinatown.

    • Hmmm… Second question about the food. I shall answer this time. LA Chinatown has a lot more Vietnamese Pho restaurants than any other kind. I ate Pho that day, a very favorite dish of mine.

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