Wednesday, February 10, 2010

San Francisco China Town Flower fair

Over the weekend, we went to San Francisco Chinatown for the annual event of the Flower Fair to celebrate the upcoming Chinese New Year.  This festival always takes place on the weekend before the lunar new year. It had a festive atmosphere in which families came to buy their Chinese new year flowers and snacks while enjoying traditional Chinese food, dance, music, and cultural displays. The streets in China town were blocked off from street traffic.  I could not believe it was packed with people everywhere. The news reported that including both residents and visitors, attendance at the two day fair was estimated to be about 400,000.
 I was very puzzled why there were many long lines, what were they lined up for?
They lined up to play games to receive free gifts.
The Fortune God Statue - a very important man! He brings fortune to you in the New Year!
There were many booths with variety of  fresh, exotic flowers such as orchids, chrysanthemums, and other flowers of which I don't know the names of.  Families come here to choose their favorite blooms for good luck and good fortune. 

I did not know why Chinese had to buy flowers for new year ( I thought it's just to decorate the home for the New Year) so I went online and learned this:  "Flowers are believed to be symbolic of wealth and high positions in one's career. A home with a plant that bloom on New Year's Day signifies a year of prosperity. Every traditional Chinese household should have live blooming plants to symbolize rebirth and new growth. The Chinese firmly believe that without flowers, there would be no formation of any fruits. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to have flowers and floral decoration in the home for the New Year."  Interesting, isn't it?
Booths sold wind chimes and other decorative items for good luck.

Cute children's Chinese clothes for the New Year - It's Chinese tradition to wear new clothes and shoes on Chinese New Year Day.
New red envelopes for money to be given to the children on New Year Days. It's traditional that the person who's married gives the red envelopes to those who are not married during the Chinese New Year period when you see them and wish you Happy New Year. 
Booths that sold CD or DVD, most of the time the Chinese New Year holiday songs were sold out if you got there late!
Live Show on the stage:
Street Artist - playing a Chinese music with a Chinese instrument - Erhu!
Vegetarian Food and boiled tea eggs
 Food and snacks for Chinese New Year

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