The Year of the Snake will be welcomed locally with dancing dragons, music, lots of food and even ping pong.
Sunday marks the Lunar New Year and many cities throughout the Peninsula are celebrating. South San Francisco kicked off the festivities on Friday but there are many chances to celebrate one of the most important holidays in Asian heritage in Foster City, Redwood City, Millbrae and San Mateo.
Foster City will host the Sights and Sounds of Chinese New Year Celebration from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at the Lagoon Room of the Recreation Center.
Themed "Temple Fair,” the free Foster City celebration will include the re-creation of a Chinese-American traditional village street fair. Luminous decorations will serve as a backdrop for the festival featuring musical, acrobatic and lion dance performances, a traditional tea ceremony, traditional tea drinking and the ancient martial arts and performance, calligraphy, brush painting, art exhibitions, animated storytelling in Chinese and English and Chinese-style crafts.
Millbrae will welcome the Year of the Snake from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16 at the Millbrae Civic Center Plaza and Library.
Millbrae Vice Mayor Nadia Holober said the event now includes a street fair. And, following the success of last year, Millbrae will include a ping pong tournament. Run through a partnership with the Millbrae Sister City Committee, the Peninsula Chinese Business Association and the Millbrae Chamber of Commerce, the free day of activities will include classics like the Mills High School Dragon team and a variety of stage performances.
"It’s exciting when people come from all over to celebrate,” said Holober.
Those wanting to get in the spirit early can attend the Sixth Annual Millbrae Community Lunar New Year Banquet from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15 at the Zen Peninsula Restaurant, 1180 El Camino Real. Seats are $50 per person but get you a 10-course meal, entertainment by the Gee Yung Lion Dance Association and the chance to win a prize. To make reservations, visit http://www.clubrunner.ca/millbrae, call 343-8332 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If the next two weekends don’t work for your schedule, Redwood City and San Mateo will ring in the new year Sunday, Feb. 23 and March 2, respectively.
This year’s Redwood City event, taking place 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., will be held in Courthouse Square and includes an opening ceremony, a lion dance and martial arts demonstration by the Shaolin Culture Center of San Mateo, taiko drumming by Kizakura, a Taiko ensemble, and the famous Red Panda Acrobats. San Mateo’s lion dance through downtown will take place from 11 a.m-2 p.m. March 2. This year’s tradition will include multi-cultural performances downtown plus two lion dance troops which will be going into local businesses. Festivities start at the US Bank Parking Lot, 136 Second Ave.
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Info Box: The Year of the Snake
Year of Birth: 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025
Lucky Colors: red, pale yellow, black
Lucky Numbers: 2, 8, 9
Lucky Flowers: orchid, cactus
If you were born during the Year of the Snake:
People born in the Year of the Snake are the most intuitive, even while remaining the most private and reticent. Snake people represent the symbol of wisdom. They are intelligent and wise. Snake people are usually regarded as great thinkers.
Snakes are materialistic and love keeping up with the Joneses. They love to possess the best of everything, but they have no patience for shopping. Snake people prefer to work alone, therefore they are easily stressed; if they seem unusually stressed, it is best to allow them their own space and time to return to normal.