Monday, March 1, 2010

The Year of the Tiger

Thing 2's friend phoned Saturday morning to invite her to the Chinese New Year's Parade. It hadn't even occurred to me that the parade was this weekend. I have wanted to go for the longest time and we've always been at Tahoe. Apparently not this year.

I thanked the friend's father for the invitation and invited us to go along. As it turned out, the wife had to work all afternoon so we picked up their daughter and headed into the city. We never did meet up with them, sadly, but we had a blast! Thanks for the great idea, Kim and Cliff!

You know how you go to great extremes to plan something? You work out every last detail and then the event turns out to be just okay? This was an impromptu outing where the stars just aligned. The rain stopped. We got a good viewing spot on the parade route. Thing 1, who does not care for crowds and chaos, just loved it. We watched 3/4 of it then had dinner in Chinatown. Walking back to the train afterwards we saw the last few entrants, one of which was the spectacular Golden Dragon, more than 200 feet long and carried by 100 people. It was proceeded by the loudest firecrackers I have ever heard, set off by earplug-wearing San Francisco Firefighters. (The last time I saw them en masse was half naked, handing out Tiffany necklaces at the end of the Nike Women's Marathon.)

Incidentally, this parade and festival are the largest celebration of Asian culture outside of Asia and the parade first came to San Francisco in the 1860s. Yes, nearly 150 years. The Chinese play a very prominent role in San Francisco history.

There were happy people everywhere, celebrating the holiday, and it just reminded me how lucky I am to live here.

2 comments:

Dick said...

Thanks for the nice parade photos and complimentary post. For a little background on the Chinese experience in San Francisco check out the likewise titled blog post at: http://blog.baytimedetective.com/?p=9686

Postcards From The Hedge said...

Did you know there is a puzzley scavenger hunt that takes place at the same time as the parade? All the clues are riddles, you have to criss-cross the parade route. Next year I will take the kids and you guys can form a team and hunt! my sister says it's a blast. For really smart people. Tailor made for you guys- I will babysit.