Monday, February 13

My Attempt at the SF Chinese New Year Parade

 "Dwelling on the negative simply contributes to its power." - Fortune Cookie

Over the weekend I went to the San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade. It was my first time going and I didn't know what to expect. I was invited early last year by my friend, Arnold, so I was very excited that the day had finally arrived. Before making my way down to the parade, I went to the farmer's market (because I go every Saturday) and was fortunate to receive some free mandarins with the leaves attached from one of the fruit stands. I was so grateful! Farmer Paul told me to hand them out at the parade because the people would love them. They're symbolic of "the sun, and connect with the yang principle, which represents the positive element and generative force in nature." (Read more here)

So I was just beaming at the fact that I got to hand them out. Of course I did; they all went to lovely people that I meet along the way. You can't beat fresh locally-grown organic fruit! Sadly though, things did not go very smoothly when I got into San Francisco. I arrived an hour and a half early and it was already extremely crowded. I have never seen the city like that before. I figured that I best find a good spot for us to watch since I was the first one in. Unfortunately, my friends arrived a bit too late and could not cross the street because the parade already started. I was on one side of street corner, and they were on the other.

I decided since I knew the city well that I would be the one to come to them, but that meant that I had to go around the entire parade route. That took me about two hours to do because of the crowds. It made me sad that I missed most of the parade trying to get there. Also, because of this, I didn't get to take a lot of photos. So the ones I got weren't as "artistic" as I would of liked.

Here are a few shots that I took:

Me trying to find a good spot before the parade begun.

Look! A pretty blue dragon in the clouds.

 The staging area at the very beginning of the parade route.

White lions love adorable children.

 Visa Float?

Red lion awesomeness.

Does anyone know why the dragons chase the ball?

 Watching the parade go by...

 Firecrackers in the middle of the blocked-off Chinatown street.

That's pretty much it. Despite all of the things that went wrong I had an enjoyable time overall. Seeing my friends made up for it, and the good definitely outweighed the bad. I will never forget my first large parade experience in a major city, and now I know to get there even earlier.