Xin Nian Kuai Le! Celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year

Xin Nian Kuai Le! February 8th marks the 2016 Chinese Lunar New Year. It’s the most important of Chinese holidays, kicking off a celebration that lasts for 15 days and culminates with the Lantern Festival. Each year is associated with one of 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac. For 2016, it’s The Year of the Monkey. Here are a few great ways to celebrate the Lunar New Year:

Lunar New Year Celebration at the History Museum:
On Saturday, February 27th from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., the History Museum will join in Redwood City’s 6th annual celebration of the Lunar New Year. The free event includes performances on Courthouse Square and inside the History Museum, kids can participate in activity stations based on the Chinese zodiac.

San Francisco Chinese New Year Festival and Parade:
Just a hop, skip and jump away from your life at Bay Meadows is one of the top ten parades in the world that promises to warm your heart and electrify your senses. Experience gorgeous floats, elaborate costumes, ferocious lions and exploding firecrackers. The newly crowned Miss Chinatown U.S.A. with her court is a crowd favorite in the spectacular 268′ Golden Dragon (“Gum Lung”). The parade will step off Second and Market Street on Saturday, February 20th at 5:15pm. Beginning January 30th through February 28th, events will take place to celebrate, visit the full calendar of events here.

Chinese New Year Concert and Imperial Dinner:
Music, family and tradition: three things at the heart of the San Francisco Symphony’s Chinese New Year celebration. On Saturday, February 13th the Symphony will celebrate the Lunar New Year and the Year of the Monkey by hosting its annual Chinese New Year Concert. This family event includes a pre-concert Festival Reception which transforms the lobbies of Davies Symphony Hall into a Chinese festival with lion dancing, Chinese calligraphy, ribbon dancing, tea bars, children’s entertainment and “lucky” red envelopes.

Chinese lantern

Community Day: Lunar New Year at the San Jose Museum of Art:
Prepare to usher in the Year of the Monkey with one of the most popular community days on Saturday, February 13th from 11am-5pm. SJMA’s community day events take a modern approach to traditional cultural customs. This year’s live performances, cultural crafts, hands-on activities, family fun, and more!

Chinese New Year Festival at The Bay Area Discovery Museum:
Gung Hay Fat Choy! Welcome to the Year of the Monkey! Celebrate Chinese New Year on Monday, February 15th and witness spectacular lion dancers, observe professional calligraphers, sample delicious Chinese food and more all made possible through a partnership with Marin Chinese Cultural Association.

Lunar New Year Celebration and Other Asian Traditions:
Don’t miss this favorite annual festival on February 14th, as OMCA rings in the Year of the Monkey with an array of Asian traditions in arts, crafts, food, demonstrations, live music, dance, family activities, and so much more. Explore connections between the diverse Asian cultures represented in California, including Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese, Mongolian and other Asian cultures.

Spring Festival Silicon Valley 2016:         

The 8th Spring Festival Silicon Valley (SFSV) will take place on March 5th. 2016 marks the Chinese Performing Arts of America (CPAA)’s 25th Anniversary. The theme of the 8th SFSV is Global Spring Celebration and SFSV will present the beautiful dance and music of Chinese, Indian, Korean, Flamenco, Mexican, and others. In addition, CPAA will world premiere our new work “Silk Road Fantasy” to celebrate this special occasion.

This year welcomes the Year of the Monkey and the beginning of a new year on the Chinese Lunar Calendar, and for other Asian cultures. History suggests that before Buddha left this world, he invited all of the animals to join him around his table for a feast. Of all of the creatures in the land, only 12 arrived. For their loyalty and faithfulness, these animals were rewarded in perpetuity by having a year named after each of them in their order of arrival.

The 12 animals run in sequence beginning with the Rat and followed by the Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and last, but not least, the Pig.

If you were born during the Year of the Monkey
Year of Birth: 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028

Occupying the 9th position in the Chinese Zodiac, the Monkey is associated with ambition, activity, curiosity, cleverness, mischief and adventure. Forever playful, Monkeys are the masters of practical jokes. Even though their intentions are always good, this desire to be a prankster has a tendency to create ill will and hurt feelings.

Monkeys are inherently intellectual and creative, they also thrive on being challenged. Monkeys prefer urban life to rural, and their favorite pastime is people-watching.

Lucky Signs for Monkey:
Lucky Numbers: 1, 7, 8
Lucky Colors: white, gold, blue
Lucky Flowers: chrysanthemum, alliums
Lucky Directions: north, northwest, west

Looking for a great place to ride in the New Year? Bay Meadows and the surrounding San Mateo area are bike friendly and offer many different paths to ride and sights to see. We even have a convenient bike map that you can download here, so you can decide exactly where to ride. Some resident favorites include the Bay Trail as well as Coyote Point Park. And don’t forget to save the date for Bike to Work Day 2016: May 20th!