Spring Festival (January/February)
Spring Festival, also known as Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year, is one of the biggest and most celebrated holidays in the traditional Chinese culture. Spring Festival follows the Lunar Calendar and begins on the first day of the first month and ending on the 15th , which is known as the Lantern Festival. Spring Festival typically falls anywhere between the end of January to the end of February. Customs and traditions carried out within this holiday varies widely depending on regions, communities etc. Common customs include lavishing dining tables with many different types of dishes, delicacies and sweets. Foods typically served during this holiday include roasted pigs and ducks, fish, dumplings, Nian Gao, and tangerines.
Chinatown San Francisco holds an annual two-day Spring Festival celebration where people can experience Chinese cultural traditions and entertainment.
Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco holds the largest indoor celebration of Spring Festival where they offer Chinese puzzles, games, traditional arts and crafts and performances such as tai chi, GuZheng and dances. http://www.chineseparade.com/
Chinese New Year Parade route
Chinese Culture Center Spring Festival
Every year the Chinese Culture Center celebrates the Lunar New Year with a bang with the largest two-day indoor festival in San Francisco. Come ring in the New Year with music, arts and crafts with traditional paper cutting artists and renowned calligraphy masters. Indulge in an afternoon of fun and relaxation with families and friends and watch the magic and excitement come alive on stage with performances of all kinds – tai chi, traditional Chinese harp (Guzheng), singing and dancing!
Please visit the website and tune in for more details as the festival time approaches. www.c-c-c.org
Chinese New year Run
The Chinatown YMCA, in San Francisco's historic Chinatown, has been hosting an annual "Chinese New Year Run" for 33 years. The route starts at Sacramento and Grant, wind its way through Chinatown and North Beach, and finishes on Kearny between California and Sacramento.
The proceeds from the run benefit YMCA's physical education program which serves more than 1,200 students from Chinatown and the surrounding neighborhoods. The event expects 2,000 participants and 300 volunteers.
For more information, go to YMCA
Chinese new year treasure hunt (Spring January/February)
The Chinese New Year Treasure Hunt is the largest and most popular urban sleuthing adventure in America. The Hunt is played on the streets of Chinatown, North Beach, and Telegraph Hill on the night of the annual Chinese New Year Parade Saturday.
How to play the game:
There are three difficulty levels: “Beginner’s Hunt,” for first-timers; “Regular Hunt,” for those with sharper wits and some Hunt experience; and “Master’s Hunt,” for seasoned veterans and past winners of the Regular Hunt. At 9:00 pm, back at Justin Herman Plaza, Wechter will explain the clues, revealing the secrets, puns and puzzles of the evening. The top three teams in each hunt are awarded a Treasure Hunt cake (with the winners getting the coveted “Key to the City” cake), a bottle of champagne and the grail of all grails, the Chinese New Year Treasure Hunt award certificate.
Ticket prices are from $30 to $40 for adults and $10 for kids under 18. For more information:
- www.sftreasurehunts.com or telephone 415-564-9400.
- Watch a clip at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHWWOVI1dtI
Noodle fest (early May)
Noodle Fest: Chinatown and North Beach, a Cultural and Culinary Celebration, will take place along Grant Avenue. 2011 was the second year that Chinatown Community Development Center and North Beach Merchants Association are joining forces to put on the fun and festive community food festival, which will bring in thousands of visitors from around San Francisco and Bay Area. There will be 40 local restaurants showing off their best noodle and pasta dishes, live entertainment by Jest Jammin’ and Michael Shiono Collective, noodle and pasta demonstrations by chefs, and much more!
For tickets, go to www.noodlefest2011.eventbrite.com
Asian/Pacific Islander/American Heritage Month (May)
Asian/Pacific Islander/American Heritage Month is a month long celebration in May that honors the contributions our ancestors of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage have made to the formation and history of the United States.
Throughout the month, various APIA organizations offer a wide range of activities, performances and events to the public bringing communities together by displaying pride and history.
Dragon Boat Races (September)
Dragon Boat Racing originated in China over 2,000 years ago and is traditionally held as part of the annual Duanwu Festival, which is traditionally celebrated on the 5th day of the 5th month on the Chinese lunar calendar.
Every year in September, the International Dragon Boat Festival organizes a the largest competitive dragon boat festival in the United States filled with world-class dragon boat racing, cultural performances and exciting activities for families, community members and those just passing by the city. Enjoy a day or two watching the fierce excitement as dragonhead adorned boats hailing from all over the United States, Canada, and the Netherlands face off after a year’s training all fighting to earn the victory for their team!
After soaking up the rays while cheering for your favorite team, take a walk around to the other festival activities featuring free cultural entertainment with live dance and music performances, a variety of food, arts and crafts and other vendors.
This year’s Dragon Boat Festival is held on September 25 and 26 at Treasure Island. Racing begins at 8am to 5pm and festival hours begin at 10am to 5pm.
Please visit the official site for more details. www.sfdragonboat.com
autumn Moon Festival (september/october)
Moon Festival, also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival or Zhongqiujie, is a celebration of harvest where farmers celebrate the end of the harvesting season. It is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month according to the Lunar calendar which typically falls at the end of September of early October. Moon Festival is another important holiday found within the Chinese culture. The festival falls on the time that the moon is considered to be the fullest and brightest.
This holiday is inspired by the legends of Chang E., the mythical Moon Goddess of Immorality. There are many variations of this legend.
During this time, moon cakes, the traditional Chinese pastry symbolic to this holiday is consumed and shared with loved ones. Moon cakes are typically round or square shaped with a 10 cm diameter and 4-5 cm thick. Most moon cakes consists a thin tender crust surrounding a filling of lotus seed paste. Salted duck eggs are also commonly found enveloped within the paste to symbolize the full moon. Elaborate decorative designs are imprinted on the surface of the cakes. Designs may include the Chinese characters for “longevity”, “harmony” as well as the name of the bakery and the type of filling. Designs surrounding the character may include imprints of the moon, the lady of the moon, flowers, vines or a rabbit to add to the extravagance. http://www.moonfestival.org/