February 19, 2015, will mark Chinese New Year’s Day in The Year of the Ram. The Ram, being the most Artistic of the zodiac animals, heralds a year of creative potential and energy. Lunar New Year, also called Spring Festival, is the most important holiday in Asia and for Asian Americans abroad. Los Angeles boasts one of the most diverse Asian populations in the world and LA Chinatown hosts the oldest and most recognized New Years celebration in America, drawing more than 150,000 for festivities throughout the month of February.
LA Chinatown kicks off the Year of the Ram at Thien Hau Temple (750 Yale Street) in a rich cultural and historical celebration on Chinese New Year Eve. Attendees can participate in traditional incense burning, make offerings to deities, watch dramatic lion dances, and witness 500,000 firecrackers lit by the 2105 Miss Chinatown Queen and Court at one of Los Angeles’s grandest temples. This ceremony takes place on Wednesday, Feb. 18th 11:00pm – Midnight.
The celebration continues through Saturday, Feb. 21st, with the 116th Annual Golden Dragon Parade, the oldest parade of its kind in America, and Chinese New Year Festival. Cheer on the spectacular floats, decked-out cars, dancers and bands as they parade through the heart of Chinatown with Grand Marshal Sheriff Jim McDonnell. The parade starts at 1:00pm.
The Chinese New Year Festival runs all day noon-8:00pm with Chinese acrobats, martial arts, children’s activities and hands-on cultural workshops. Yarn Bombing will host a special community engagement craft workshop to build a giant sheep from individual pompoms in honor of this year’s zodiac animal. Taste a bite of Chinatown with traditional Chinese cuisine offered at many Chinatown restaurants, or street food and snacks offered by some of LA’s hottest gourmet food trucks. There will also be a curated Craft Beer Garden featuring local Southern California breweries. New for this year, the Culinary Stage will feature a special live edition of Cutthroat Chinatown with Chef Jet Tila.
Always popular, the 2015 LA Chinatown Firecracker 5/10K Run/Walk and Day ‘n’ Night Festival follows on February 28 – March 1st, 2015. The weekend features events for everyone, from a Kiddie Run, to 5/10K Runs, to Bike Rides. Visit firecracker10k.org for details.