Each year in February, Oranges are on display in windows and Red Envelopes can be found everywhere. There is festiveness in the air as “Gung Hay Fat Choy” is heard being called out in the streets. Chinese New Year is a wonderful time of the Year to explore the thriving/working community San Francisco residents call “China Town.” Lines form outside the Bakeries as the Egg Custard Tarts come out of the ovens piping hot. Markets are full of fresh fish and the waves of delicious dishes emit from the rests along Grant Avenue. Shops are adorned with colorful clothing, beautiful jewels and lucky items to be adorned in ones’ home. This year is the year of the Snake. It is the sixth of 12 animals in the Chinese horoscope. People under this sign are said to be natural leaders and exhibit intelligence, gratefulness, patience, hardworking, loyal & enjoy calm & quiet. The Chinese Lunar New Year is celebrated with food, flowers, fire crackers and envelopes of “lucky money.” The two week celebration includes music, street fairs and the Miss Chinatown USA pageant. It culminates with a spectacular parade that features a 250 foot-long dragon. This year will probably feature some slithering snakes as well as the famous lion dancers.
To enjoy the New Year one should have an authentic experience enjoying Dim Sum at Oriental Pearl, visit a local Tea House, enjoy the Chinese Historical Society of America and be sure to visit the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory. “Gung Hay Fat Choy.”