Los Angeles Celebrates Chinese New Year

It’s the year of the Rooster!

This is one very spoiled Rooster – after all, it is his year!

For the last 118 years, the Chinese community in Los Angeles celebrated with the colorful Golden Dragon parade on the Chinese Lunar New Year, February 4th.

Parents, grandparents, and babies began gathering in the morning and families brought chairs, drinks, and snacks so they could arrive early and save a front row on the sidewalks.

Paper umbrellas are in style again this year!

Even babies dressed for the occasion. This young fella had a custom set of headphones to protect him from the noise of over a million firecrackers.

Other families had fun with poppers.

These four beautiful little girls gave out hugs to photographers (lucky me!) and threw coins in the fountain to lure good fortune into their 2017 lives.

Food, as always in this neighborhood was delicious, although the restaurants remained quiet during the parade with lines around the block after the procession was over.

Up on Hill Street overlooking the city of Los Angeles. I visited the staging area and got to see the setup first-hand.

High Schools streamed out of bright yellow buses, dragons in hand.

The women from the Chinese Cultural Center gathered huddled from the sun with their pink umbrellas.

Our Mexican friends brought their horses and danced in colorful dresses.

The bands warmed up, and in some cases, kids rested up before starting out on the long walk.

By the end of the day, my feet had traveled many miles and my face hurt from smiling so much. Nothing like a multicultural event to start off the New Year right!!

According to the Travel China Guide, “the rooster is the epitome of fidelity and punctuality. For ancestors who had no alarm clocks, the crowing was significant, as it could awaken people to get up and start to work. In Chinese culture, another symbolic meaning of chicken carries is exorcising evil spirits. 2017 turns to be the Ben Ming Nian for people with Chinese zodiac sign Rooster, which means bad fortune is going to knock on their doors.”