Lunar New Year is an occasion rife with happy, solemn, traditional, and oh-so-lively traditions, but something that also wonderful about it? Unlike most other holidays, the celebrations continue for a few weeks.
Which means that if you missed the Golden Dragon Parade, or the mega festival in Monterey Park, you still have time to gather with other Southern Californians and welcome, with joy and hope, The Year of the Rooster. Of course, even if you did attend either to-do, or one of the many other merry-making happenings around the region, the Lunar New Year continues.
Look to Chinatown over the second weekend of February, and look to the annual LA Chinatown Firecracker. That's right, it does start with a bike ride, on day #1, which is Saturday, Feb. 11, while the famous run heads out on Sunday, Feb. 12. (A 5K, a 10K, and a Kiddie Run are all on the schedule, and participants will walk as well as dash.)
What to do, where to go and what to see
As for the festival? It's big, as big as rippling, colorful dragon flying down a street. It kicks off on both Feb. 11 and 12 with a memorable, gotta-see-it opening at 7:30 in the morning (on each day).
For "firecracker" is not simply in the name; you'll see and hear the pop-pop-pop action when 100,000 firecrackers are lit on Sunday morning, with a bit fewer on Saturday (though it will still certainly be a spectacular show).
Need to see that large number again? You got it: 100,000 firecrackers.
A lion dance, Korean drums, and a host of movement-oriented performances will follow throughout the day.
And new for 2017? There's a Firecracker Night Fest, beginning at 4 and wrapping at 10 o'clock. That's on Saturday, Feb. 11, and come famished, for a host of food trucks'll line up near "the heart of Chinatown." (Loads of live entertainment is on the docket, too, so watch/enjoy while you nosh.)
So even if you're not running, or biking, you can still revel, Rooster-style, at this long-running, 39th annual weekend-long party, one that draws thousands of revel-ready Lunar New Year observers.