Pasadena Views Real Estate Team welcomes Mercy Liu, new resident to the Pasadena area. Thank you for a beautifully written article.
Having been born and raised in a traditional Chinese family, I was always extremely excited about Chinese Lunar New Year each year as a child. One of the major reasons was that by tradition I could get lots of red envelopes (Hong Bao) from elders in the family. Red envelopes are usually stuffed with money to be given to children as signs of luck and protection against evil spirits. To every Chinese kid, a large proportion of pocket money every year comes from the red envelopes. Nowadays, in the American-Chinese community, adults frequently exchange red envelopes as a way to send the warmest blessings to each other. If you receive a red envelope with one dollar inside from a Chinese restaurant in San Gabriel Valley, that means the owner of the restaurant is sending his kindest wishes to you, not because he thinks you are a child.
Of course, Chinese New Year is not just about the red envelopes, although most likely you will receive one if you go to a Chinese New Year Festival market. The festival markets are another reason I am excited about Chinese New Year. Similar to the famous Christmas Markets in Germany, Chinese New Year Festival Markets are well-known for great demonstrations of the most traditional and interesting parts of Chinese culture and arts.
Since Alhambra has one of the largest American-Chinese commercial districts in California, there is a Lunar New Year Street Festival in Alhambra every year as one of the biggest Chinese festival markets in U.S. The Street Festival this year (2015) will be held on February 21st between 10am and 5pm on Valley Blvd. between Garfield Ave. and Almansor St. There will be all sorts of cultural performances including The Lion & Dragon Kung Fu Dance, Chinese Opera Face Mask Changing, Drummers’ Dance and Martial Arts Demos. Other than the performances, traditional handcraft workshops will be there to teach you how to do some simple art work. Additionally, delicious food will be sold from counters set up by popular local restaurants. If you want to take a bite of authentic Chinese cooking, this is a great opportunity.
Here are some photos taken by the event organizer last year. If you want to know more about this Street Festival in Alhambra, please go to their website http://www.alhambranewyearfestival.com/ . I can’t wait to go there and get some red envelopes!