LOS ANGELES, Dec. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Year of the Snake is a significant year in Asian tradition: the Year of the Snake marks change, filled with contemplation, preparation and much reflection. The Lunar New Year is one of the most important holidays in Asia as well as for Asian Americans living in the U.S.—especially in Los Angeles, which boasts one of the most diverse Asian populations in the nation. The oldest and one of the most recognized New Years celebrations in America is LA Chinatown's Chinese New Year Festival, drawing more than 125,000 for the weekend-long celebration. The Chinese New Year Festival runs Feb. 16 from 12-8 p.m. and Feb. 17 from 12-5 p.m. in Chinatown's Central Plaza.
LA Chinatown kicks off the Year of the Snake celebration at Thien Hau Temple where attendees can experience traditional incense burning, make offerings to deities, watch traditional lion dancers, and witness 500,000 firecrackers in action along with Buddhist and Taoist monks and families of all generations. This ceremony takes place on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 11:00 p.m., the eve of Chinese New Year weekend.
The 15-day long celebration continues the following weekend, Feb. 16th and 17th with the 114th Annual Golden Dragon Parade and Chinese New Year Festival. Attendees can enjoy spectacular floats, decked-out cars, dancers and bands as they parade down the heart of Chinatown. This year's Grand Marshals includes Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck.
The Chinese New Year Festival gets underway following the parade with cultural performances, children's activities and hands-on cultural workshops for all ages. Additionally, there will be a live music stage and new for 2013, a unique singing competition that can only be witnessed in Chinatown.
Attendees can expect to nosh on traditional Chinese cuisine offered at many Chinatown restaurants, street food and non-traditional dishes offered by food vendors and some of LA's hottest gourmet food trucks. There will also be a craft beer garden curated by Eagle Rock Brewery featuring local breweries pouring their favorite brews.
The Chinese New Year Festival will be held at Central Plaza at 943-951 N. Broadway on Saturday, Feb. 16 from 12-8 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 17 from 12-5 p.m. The 114th Annual Golden Dragon Parade is on Saturday, Feb. 16 beginning at 1 p.m.
Always popular, the 2013 LA Chinatown Firecracker 5/10K run follows the Chinese New Year Festival weekend on February 23 – 24, 2013. Visit firecracker10k.org for more details. For more information on the Chinese New Year Festival visit www.chinatownla.com or call 213-680-0243.
SOURCE Los Angeles Chinatown Business Council