Chinatown Events and Activities
When it comes to American cities, San Francisco has one of the most vibrant and well-known Chinatown areas in the country. Entering underneath the ornate arches is like walking into a completely different world, and the smells, the sounds, the architecture surrounding you feels unlike anything else you have ever experienced. Little wonder then that San Francisco’s Chinatown is the place to be in February, the month of the Chinese New Year. Even though the Chinese New Year technically occurs on February 19th this year, the entire month will be riddled with parties, festivals, dances, and general revelry. So that you don’t become too overwhelmed with the options before you, we have complied a list of top Chinatown events and where they are located. Have a great New Year!
Asian Art Museum
The number of events happening at this one location (200 Larkin St.) is immense. Throughout the month of February, there are events every day (sometimes more than one) that celebrate, inform, and revel in the New Year. On the 8th alone there is a performance by the China Dance School and Theater where students at the school will perform traditional Chinese dances to welcome the New Year, the Lunar New Year Stories exhibition where you can hear people practice the ancient art of storytelling as they recount many different New Year tales, legends, and myths, and, for the more adventurous, a stilt-walking class that encourages families to attend together. The best thing about these celebrations is that they are, for the most part, included with the admission price.
Chinese New Year Flower Fair
Flowers are an essential element to the Chinese New Year celebrations, and nowhere is this clearer than at the Chinese New Year Flower Fair. Spanning many blocks on Grant Avenue (from Clay to Broadway) and Pacific Avenue (Kearny to Stockton), the Flower Fair, which takes place from February 14th to February 15th, inundates visitors with an extravagant array of blooms and blossoms meant to adorn a family’s home for the New Year celebration. The scent of fresh orchids, snap dragons, and peach blossoms mingle with those of tangerines and oranges to create an unforgettable atmosphere. It is estimated that around 400,000 people will pass through the fair area during these two days, so to say that this is a massive cultural event is nowhere near an overstatement.
San Francisco Symphony Chinese New Year Celebration
On February 21st, the world famous San Francisco Symphony will hold its annual tribute to the traditions and heritage of Chinese culture at the Davis Symphony Hall (in between Van Ness and Franklin on Grove Street). Promoted as a family event, this celebration of the Year of the Ram will include a Festival Reception in the Symphony Hall lobby before the concert, where young and old alike can partake in calligraphy, tea bars, ribbon dancing, and much more.