Wednesday, February 15, 2012

SF Chinese New Years Parade

I wanted to begin this year with a brand new tradition. For my Mythological Literature class I've been reading 'Good Luck Life: The Essential Guide to Chinese American Celebrations and Culture' by Rosemary Gong. It's this really great, informative novel- and it opened with a chapter about Chinese New Years! I learned all sorts of interesting tidbits of information, and it made me want to explore Chinese culture even more, by venturing to the China Town New Years Parade in San Francisco!

So very spur-the-moment like, my friend Tori and I hopped on Bart and made our way to the tail end of the parade route, just passed Union Square. The entire street was so crowded, that it was nearly impossible to move even a few feet. I, however, am a pushy little bugger when it comes to crowds- so with a little patience and persistence I was able to get us right onto the street!

The parade itself was breath taking. I've never seen so many colors on one street, even throughout the years, and parades I've taken part in myself. There's something that's just magical about the Chinese New Year Parade.

Something that I found interesting from my book, is that colors are very important. Red especially means good luck, and it was everywhere, giving the street this super firey element. Red is considered a masculine color, along with all warm tones, so of course, to balance it out there were feminine colors there too. This blue dragon would be considered feminine.

And really, what parade would be complete without Ronald McDonald taking part? I'm just surprised that there weren't any giant dancing chicken nuggets on this float. It was a pretty one though.

I've always wondered... what's Ronald's salary for appearances like this?

By far however, my favorite part of the parade were the lions and dragons. It's considered really good luck if you pet one, and I got to! These Lions were very friendly and charged right up to the crowd. It was actually really exciting to see these ferocious looking guys coming at you, with their blinking eyes and fluttering mouths.

It was exciting for adults too. The adorable woman sitting next to me got up every time one came by and ran to go pet it.

It was a really good girl's night. Tori and I had a lot of fun. And of course, no night would be complete without one juicy boy story.

Before we left to go home, I stopped at a vegan place to get some food for the trip. While I was standing there waiting for my food, out of the corner of my eye I saw this really handsome man. I just figured he was cute and would walk right by, so I turned away when I saw him looking. Then two seconds later, I felt a hand on my hand. The boy had come up to me!

I awkwardly said, "Hi." Not really knowing what to say, immediately worried he was a creeper.

He said hi back, but when I began to fidget and he still hadn't lifted his hand, he said, "You don't remember me do you? Well, I think you deserve to know that I've thought you were gorgeous ever since middle school, and I just thought you should know how beautiful you are."

I stammered a quick thank you, still super shocked and trying to place his face- when suddenly I remembered him. He smiled and said, "I was a year younger than you in school, and you gave me a patch. It's good to see you're doing well. Have a great rest of the night."

And he left.

I was really flattered. 

It was just an absolutely sweet ending to an already sweet night.

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