Spirits were high as families strolled down Grant Avenue in the heart of San Francisco’s Chinatown, celebrating the coming of the new year. Countless booths lined the street, each selling various goodies. Revelers flocked to purchase decorations, which oftentimes included imagery of rabbits to symbolize the Year of the Rabbit. Most of these decorations were also red, symbolizing luck. Vendors sold foods commonly eaten or gifted to others during Lunar New Year. Attendees also stood around watching performances and the parade of lion dancers. The “lions” playfully interacted with the crowd, often splitting from the parade to greet young children.
This street fair, known as the Flower Market Fair, marked the beginning of the preparation for Lunar New Year. This year, it was held on Jan. 14 and 15. Despite the stormy weather, hundreds of people from all over the Bay Area gathered to attend. This allowed the community to come together and support local businesses during one of the biggest holidays. Lunar New Year is the beginning of a new year in the lunar calendar and holds cultural significance. In addition, the festivities attracted those who don’t typically celebrate Lunar New Year and tourists alike.
Following the Flower Market Fair came Lunar New Year on Jan. 22, and a host of other celebrations to welcome the Year of the Rabbit.