Annual Chinese New Year celebrations are biggest amongst the populations of Chinatown, and so too is the Golden Dragon Parade. Now in its 115th year, over a century of tradition goes into each parade to make every year better than the one before. More than one hundred and ten thousand members of the public lined the streets to watch last year, making it the biggest yet. Full television coverage enables people from further afield to join in with the celebration which is now probably the number one cultural event in the entire calendar of the Southern Californian Asian American community. If you’re staying at a hotel near Chinatown in Downtown LA then you may want to explore this entertaining parade.
Presented by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Los Angeles, this year’s parade will take place on Saturday February 1st from 1pm onwards. The route runs all along the North Broadway into Chinatown, starting from between Hill Street and Ord Street and ends at Cesar Chavez and Broadway. What began as the traditional parade to celebrate the season has expanded dramatically, so that now each parade includes more than twenty large floats, numerous marching bands, entertainers, dignitaries of local government office and representatives from important community groups and local businesses. The whole parade embodies diversity and is an incredible experience for all involved.
Each year, the start of the Lunar New Year is the most important and lavishly celebrated festival for the large and thriving Asian community in the Southern Californian regions. Parades and colorful decorations fill the streets, while at home the family comes together to celebrate in their own ways. Part of the traditional celebrations at home include the commemoration of ancestors, each of whom is fondly remembered with moving blessings said in their honor. Families express their gratitude for their blessings and ask ancestral relatives to watch over them. Firecrackers and red envelopes of money are two of the more famous celebratory elements.
Photo courtesy of Yelp