Before going to Alhambra's Lunar New Year festival, I'd anticipated an event similar to what I had seen last year in downtown LA or in New York City's Chinatown in past years with lots of firecrackers, lion dancers, and dumpling stands. What I hadn't expected were the carnival rides, the lines for giveaways that often depended on the luck of a wheel, and the overwhelming presence of corporate sponsors. The Alhambra event appeared to attract more people than any of the other festivals I've been to, so people clearly enjoyed it.
But while I did come across a group of UCLA lion dancers and the dragon boats, as an observer, the commercial focus of the event surprised me. I'm curious: is this more typical of what Chinese New Year looks like in China these days than the more culturally focused festivals I have attended? Is this the suburban influence on the festival?
I was there with the Alhambra Source community contributors and we had the good luck to meet up with some very friendly local representatives: CERT volunteers, police officers, and Chamber of Commerce members. I also met the psychic Mrs. Lin's daughter and received my first card reading from her.
Some pictures below. Do you have more pictures from Lunar New Year? Please them to the Alhambra Source flickr group!