Community gathers to celebrate Lunar New Year in San Francisco’s Chinatown

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Families gathered at Portsmouth Square Saturday to celebrate the year of the rat.

Lucky colors to wear are red and gold.

The San Francisco Chinese Chamber of Commerce passed out red envelopes to children, filled with chocolate coins and vouchers for prizes.

Face painting and digital caricatures were a hit.

The celebration is about family and…

“Money maybe.”



And there’s a certain food to eat – one New Years Eve and one on New Year’s Day.

“Fish because there’s some old Chinese saying that if you eat fish on the eve of Chinese New Year’s Eve, you get extra money,” Judy Wang said.

Some call the holiday the Chinese New Year but it’s celebrated by a lot of groups so it’s more inclusive to call it the Lunar New Year.

“Everyone is united, everyone is happy I guess,” Shelley Ng said.

The timing this year coincides with the deadly Coronavirus outbreak. Some are taking extra precautions to prevent the new virus from spreading by Chinese tourists going abroad for the holidays.

“So I just heard that a lot of people are coming from Wuhan to Chinatown so I just feel like it’s kind of nervous,” Lin Hao said. “We have an assignment to do this week and we have to come here to take some pictures and stuff that why we just wear the mask.”

While there are concerns about the virus, the annual Chinese New Year parade will still go on.

Some are just hoping for good health.

“Exercise, eat more vegetables and just be happy,” Wang said.

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