Friday, January 16, 2009

Lunar New Year Events 2009

Happy New Year! OK, Happy Lunar New Year! In the Chinese calendar, the longest chronological record in history dating back to 2600 B.C., this year marks the lunar year 4,707 -- Year of the Ox. The first day of the new lunar year is January 26, 2009.

Famous people born in the Year of the Ox: Jack Nicholson, Jane Fonda, Heather Locklear, Juliette Lewis, Margaret Thatcher, Meg Ryan, Meryl Streep, Princess Diana, Vivien Leigh, George Clooney, Oscar De La Hoya, Charlie Chaplin, Walt Disney, Anthony Hopkins, Peter Sellers.

Here are some local events celebrating the Lunar New Year in San Mateo, Santa Clara and San Francisco counties.

Silicon Valley/Santa Clara County:

* Lunar New Year Blessing and Dedication Ceremony. Zen ceremony in Chinese and English followed by a vegetarian lunch. 9:00am - 2:30pm, January 25th. Chung Tai Zen Center of Sunnyvale, 750 E. Arques Avenue, Sunnyvale. Donations for lunch accepted. 408-733-0750.

* Vietnamese Spring Festival and Parade. Festival will include Vietnamese arts and crafts, live performances, Miss Tet 2009, martial arts demonstrations, children's games and rides, talent show and food booths. 11:00am - 6:00pm, February 8th. 180 Park Avenue. San Jose parade: Market Street between Santa Clara and San Carlos Streets. Free. 408-292-8283.

* Lunar New Year Celebration. Traditional crafts, displays, martial arts demonstrations, music and dance performances and food tasting. 10:00am - 5:00pm, January 31st and Noon to 5:00pm, February 1st. Children's Discovery Museum, Woz Way and Auzerais Street, San Jose. Free. 408-298-5437, extension 205.

*Lion Dancing. Enjoy traditional dim sum or dinner at a Year of the Ox celebration featuring The Young Lion Dancers. 7:00pm, January 25th, Ming's Chinese Cuisine & Bar, 1700 Embarcadero Road, Palo Alto. 650-856-7700.

San Mateo/San Mateo County:

* Temple Fair. Community-sponsored Year of the Ox celebration includes street fair, musical performances, acrobatic and martial arts demonstrations, lion and dragon dancing. 11:00am - 3:00pm, Foster City Recreation Center, 650 Shell Blvd. 650-286-3380.

San Francisco:

San Francisco's Chinese New Year Parade began in 1860 and was named by the IFEA to be one of the top ten parades in the world! It is also one of the remaining night illuminated parades left in the country.

* 2009 Chinese New Year Parade, Saturday, February 7th. 5:15-8:00 pm, Market and Second Streets to Kearney and Jackson. Check out "Gum Lung", the 201-foot-long Golden Dragon!

• January 23 - February 8, Chinese New Year Carnival, Daily 10am - 10pm
Walter U. Lum Place, Washington & Clay Streets

• January 24 - January 25, Flower Market Fair, Saturday 10am-8pm, Sunday 9am-6pm, between Clay and Broadway, from Kearny to Stockton. Check out the flowers, plants and food for sale. Entertainment includes lion dancing, Chinese opera, martial arts demos and a petting zoo.

• January 26, Chinese New Year Day

• January 31, Miss Chinatown U.S.A. Pageant, 7:30pm, Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, 3301 Lyon Street at Bay Street

• February 6, Miss Chinatown U.S.A. Coronation Ball, 6pm - midnight, Black-tie dinner/dance, San Francisco Hilton & Towers, 333 O'Farrell Street, tickets: (415) 982-3000

• February 7, Chinese New Year Parade, 5:15pm - 8:00pm, Market and Second Streets to Kearny and Jackson. Highlights include elaborate decorated floats, costumed elementary school groups, stilt walkers and more. Check out the 201-foot-long Golden Dragon "Gum Lung"!

• February 7-8, Community Street Fair, Saturday 10am - 4:30pm, Sunday 9am-5pm,
Pacific to Washington, between Kearny and Stockton. Enjoy dance and music from throughout Asia and experience ancient and modern Chinese arts such as calligraphy, kite-making and acrobatics.

• February 7-8, Spring Festival, 11am - 4pm, Chinese Culture Center, 750 Kearny Street, 3rd Floor.

• February 15, Chinatown 10K Run, 5K Run/Walk, 7am: Pre-registration at Portsmouth Square, 8am: Race begins at Grant and Sacramento

The Chinese Calendar names each year after an animal and legend has it that a person born under a certain animal will display traits of that animal. I was born in the year of the Tiger. What sign are you in the Chinese 12-year calendar cycle? Look up in the table below what year you were born and the corresponding animal.

Rat: 1924 1936 1948 1960 1972 1984 1996 2008

Ox: 1925 1937 1949 1961 1973 1985 1997 2009

Tiger: 1926 1938 1950 1962 1974 1986 1998 2010

Rabbit: 1927 1939 1951 1963 1975 1987 1999 2011

Dragon: 1928 1940 1952 1964 1976 1988 2000 2012

Snake: 1929 1941 1953 1965 1977 1989 2001 2013

Horse: 1930 1942 1954 1966 1978 1990 2002 2014

Ram: 1931 1943 1955 1967 1979 1991 2003 2015

Monkey: 1932 1944 1956 1968 1980 1992 2004 2016

Rooster: 1933 1945 1957 1969 1981 1993 2005 2017

Dog: 1934 1946 1958 1970 1982 1994 2006 2018

Boar: 1935 1947 1959 1971 1983 1995 2007 2019

Gung Hey Fat Choy! Happy Year of the Ox!

Chúc Mừng Năm Mới! Happy Year of the Water Buffalo!

Thanks for reading!

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