Rem and I weren’t prepared to brave the crowds at the Chinese New Year parade in San Francisco tonight (Saturday, 2/23) but we did enjoy a visit to Chinatown last weekend. New Years celebrations were ongoing so we decided a walk around enjoying the sights, and some nice baked barbeque pork buns would be a great way to spend the afternoon. I hope you enjoy our photos.
Mural of Chinese Lion Dancers.
A lantern-shaped streetlight with the Transamerica Pyramid in the background.
Colorful embroidered shoes.
The sidewalks were crowded with people. Plenty of tourists, like us, and lots of locals out shopping.
This gentleman is dapper in a navy suit with blue pinstripes, a leather vest and a beret.
Walking around the bustling streets we saw produce stands piled with tangerines, oranges, and many different kinds of greens. Oranges are considered auspicious – the word for orange in Chinese sounds like “wealth”.
A window display of roasted ducks and chickens.
A large tray of steamed pork buns.
Very fresh (still live) crab.
Roly poly piggy banks.
Are these the opposite of dunce caps?
Dragon details on several buildings.
We heard the loud, rapid popping of firecrackers several times and once, when it was particularly long and loud, we jogged to a corner and up around to an alley to see what was causing all the ruckus.
We were in time to see the very end of a long string of firecrackers, hanging down from a balcony, exploding noisily.
Afterwards, the sidewalk was littered with bits of red paper.
Walking down another street we saw several groups of young men, some with flags, others with drums and a few in traditional lion dance costumes.
Several lions were going to different businesses.
According to Wikipedia:
During the Chinese New Year, lion dancer troupes from the Chinese martial art schools or Chinese guild and associations will visit the houses and shops of the Chinese community to perform the traditional custom of “cai ching” (採青), literally means “plucking the greens”, a quest by the ‘lion’ to pluck the auspicious green normally ‘vegetables’ like lettuce which in Chinese called ‘cái’(菜)that sound like ‘cái’(财)(fortune) and auspicious fruit like oranges tied to a “Red Envelope” containing money; either hang highly or just put on a table in front of the premises. The “lion” will dance and approach the “green” and “red evelope” like a curious cat, to “eat the green” and “spit” it out leave it in a nice arrangement, like an auspicious character but keep the “red envelope”. The lion dance is believed to bring good luck and fortune to the business and the troupe is rewarded with the “red envelope”
Across the street, an orange lion and a green lion were bringing good luck to restaurant.
As they leave, one of the group lights a small firecracker at the doorway of the business to scare away evil spirits.
Thanks for stopping by, I hope it has been a good visit!