Gung Hay Fat Choy! February 1, 2022 marks the first day of the Year of the Tiger and San Francisco is roaring back with events to celebrate the New Year. For many Asian cultures, the Lunar New Year is a time of renewal and family, with activities meant to discard the misfortunes and negatives of the past to make room and welcome prosperity, good luck and health for the coming year. The Southwest Airlines ® Chinese New Year Festival and Parade celebrations in San Francisco are some of the largest in the world, just minutes from NEMA.

The Chinese Chamber of Commerce of San Francisco is bringing back the public art project, Tiger on Parade, to its list of festivities this Lunar New Year. Six life-sized Tigers will be publicly displayed around San Francisco, from January 17 – February 19, to help ring in the new year. The Tiger statues spotlight local artists as well as reflect upon the culture, people, and traditions surrounding Chinese New Year. Visit their website to learn more about the Tigers, the artists, and the inspiration behind each design.

Pop over to the Asian Art Museum and see the Posterity Tiger. To prepare for the New Year, families clean and decorate their homes with flowers, couplets, and colorful paper cut-outs. The designs of this form of Chinese folk art depict messages of good luck and blessings, flowers and plants, and meaningful symbols for the New Year. This year, AARP is honoring this long-time tradition with the work of renowned paper cutting artist, Yumei Hou. Yumei Hou is a sculptor and renowned master of the ancient Chinese art of paper cutting. Her passion and skills for art were inherited through three generations of artists. Hou has dedicated decades to learning, perfecting, and passing on the art of paper cutting in China and the United States. Her talent and dedication were recognized by the San Francisco Arts Commission in 2010 when she was selected to design and install a building-wide art piece for the Chinatown Central Subway, scheduled to open in 2022.

Posterity is a smiling tigress, with the word “shou” on her head, which means longevity. The ears and eyes are cut with two longevity peaches to represent health and happiness. The zigzag pattern along her back represents a happy family reunion, the homophony of the word together. There is a little tiger on the tigress’ belly, and a little tiger on the other side, because a tiger has two children in her lifetime, which signifies someone will succeed. Sunflowers on the chest represent hope and a bright future. The life peach on the inside of the tiger’s leg means that everyone in the family is healthy and long-lived!

Some events we’re looking forward to are:

January 29-30, Flower Market Fair. The Flower Fair is the place to come to purchase fresh flowers, fruits, candies and brand-new supplies for the home to begin the new lunar year.

February 19, Chinese New Year Parade. Named one of the top ten Parades in the world, the Alaska Airlines Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco is one of the few remaining night illuminated Parades in North America and the biggest parade celebrating the Lunar New Year outside of Asia. Tickets are now available for purchase.

February 19-20, Community Street Fair. The SF Chinese Chamber of Commerce has activities and entertainment for all ages. Enjoy Chinese folk dancing, opera, drumming and much more at the entertainment stage in the heart of San Francisco Chinatown.

View the Events Calendar for all the Chinese New Year Festival & Parade details and dates.

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