Dragon time: Alhambra, Monterey Park, and Chinatown Lunar New Years festivals

Photo by Albert Lu1Photo by Albert Lu

Monterey Park's festival logoAlhambra will hold its annual Alhambra Lunar Year Festival (四海迎春園遊會), a cultural fair featuring more than 200 vendors, on Saturday, February 4, 2012. Monterey Park will host a Chinese New Years Festival on the weekend of January 28 and 29th and Chinatown will host its 113 celebration and parade that weekend as well.

Alhambra no longer has a parade, but the cultural celebration will include lion dances, an art and porcelain exhibition, and calligraphy writing. Event Director Pinki Chen share what else to expect this year.

goldfish at last year's Alhambra festival.Anything new this year at the festival?

Many new activities will be added — children can catch goldfish in the little pool. This year the event falls two days before the lantern festival, which celebrates the conclusion of the two weeks of Chinese New Years festivities. Attendees will have the chance to taste tang-yuan (a sweet rice dumpling), which is typical for this time of year.

What are the highlights in your opinion?

Watching the cultural performances on the two stages, tasting the Asian food, and visiting different booths.

What should we know about the Year of the Dragon?

The dragon year is considered very lucky, and people born in it are considered powerful and fortunate. So every Chinese parent is hoping to have a Dragon child. As one can imagine, the birth rate is much higher in the year of dragon, and a lot more couples are getting married in the dragon year too.

How many people do you expect this year?

Every year, the attendance is very steady at 25,000.

The 2012 Alhambra Lunar New Year festival will be Saturday, February 4, on Valley Boulevard between Garfield and Almansor from 10 am until 5 pm.

About the author: Daniela Gerson

Daniela Gerson is the editor of the Alhambra Source. After reporting for newspapers and public radio from New York City, Europe, and Latin America, she moved to Los Angeles in 2008 to do a master’s degree in immigration journalism at USC. Now she spends her days looking for stories in Alhambra. So far, she has not been disappointed. In the past year Daniela has tried to learn Chinese and practiced tai chi in Alhambra Park, taken pilates at JayVee and one salsa class (with the intention of taking more) at La Granada, and is very grateful for the amazing Alhambra Civic Center library and its lovely staff.

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