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Chinese New Year Celebrations in San Francisco and Vancouver

In just a couple of days on February 19, 2015 we will be welcoming in the Chinese Lunar New Year. This two week festival has been celebrated in China for over 5,000 years and its beginning is marked by the second new moon after winter solstice.

This year, the Year of the Sheep (also known as Year of the Goat or Year of the Ram) will be marked by a focus on the greater good because sheep are a herding animal, according to cosmologists. The sheep is considered to be the most creative of the signs in the Chinese zodiac. It is the beginning of what the Chinese consider to be the year 4713.

Two of our favorite incentive program destinations are among the best places in the world to join in the celebrations for Chinese New Year outside of China itself – San Francisco and Vancouver, B.C.!

The San Francisco Chinese New Year celebration originated in the 1860’s during the Gold Rush day and is now the largest Asian event in North America as well as the largest general market event in Northern California. The celebration includes two major fairs, the Chinese New Year Flower Fair and Chinatown Community Street Fair. The culmination of all the festivities is the Chinese New Year Parade – one of the world’s top ten parades, and the largest celebration of its kind outside of Asia. Miss Chinatown USA is traditionally present at the parade, as is a 200 foot long Golden Dragon manned inside by upwards of 100 puppeteers.

Chinese New Year – the Lunar New Year – isn’t just a traditional festival for the Chinese; it’s also the traditional New Year mark for Korean, Vietnamese and many other East Asian cultures. Which means that, for multicultural Vancouver, Chinese New Year/the Lunar New Year is a huge celebration! Vancouver also boasts an amazing Chinese New Year Parade, attracting over 50,000 spectators and 3,000 performers, including the largest assembly of lion dance teams in Canada. A host of other events throughout the city include cultural fairs, performances, exhibits and more.

We can help you plan to take part in the fun of Chinese New Year during an incentive trip to San Francisco or Vancouver!

photo by Global Jet via creative commons

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