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The Chinese New Year Parade
All Chinese communities are ecstatic and extravagant during Chinese New Year. One of the highlights of this event is the Chinese New Year Parade. The Chinese New Year Parade continues to amaze and delight the millions of people who attend year after year and remains one of the most inspiring and celebrated events.
The Chinese New Year Parade is indeed awe-inspiring in every sense of the word. Young, old, rich and poor throng the streets to watch the event with enthusiasm. The showcase of lion and dragon dances, street performers, colorful costumes, fireworks and happy faces make the annual Chinese New Year parade and celebration truly unforgettable.
The lion dance symbolizes the bringing of good fortune. As artists dance through the streets, people are also entertained by drums and gongs. These instruments create the lively and dynamic sounds that accompany the lion dance. The Chinese people believe that loud drumbeats awaken the legendary animal and ward off evil spirits.
Millions of spectators are also wowed by the brilliant sparkles and fireworks, as no Chinese New Year parade is complete without them. Loud firecrackers are also set off around the lion and dragon to chase away ghosts.
In China, the dragon is considered a popular symbol of power, wisdom and luck. This is why most, if not all, Chinese people believe that they are the descendants of the dragon. In the Chinese New Year parade, the dragon is the biggest attraction. The dragon used for the special event is usually made from silk, bamboo, and other colorful materials. The dragon can measure up to 100 feet and can be carried by 50 young men on poles. It is a belief that the longer the dragon, the better the year.
The Chinese New Year Parade is also where East meets West. Indeed, the Chinese New Year parade also features other non-Chinese traditions. Besides the symbolic lion and golden dragon dance, the parade also includes non-Chinese activities like the beauty pageant. Many people come to see the newly crowned Mrs. Chinatown and her court as well as the colorful Chinese-themed floats, marching bands, and other Asian groups that join in the parade.
How it all began
During the San Francisco Gold Rush period, more than 50,000 hopefuls came to work in the mines in hopes of a better life. Among them were Chinese immigrants who later formed friendships and connections with everyone. These Chinese immigrants quickly shared their unique culture using the good old American parade. With the help of other groups from different parts of the city, they were able to promote the rich Chinese culture.
Today, Chinatowns around the world celebrate Chinese New Year with festivals and parades, with San Francisco’s Chinese New Year Parade being the largest of its kind outside of Asia. The Chinese New Year parade has indeed come a long way.
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