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Celebrating Chinese New Year

The Chinese New Year or the Chinese Spring Festival is considered the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. The celebrations run from Chinese New Year’s Day to the 15th day of the first month, making this festival the longest in the Chinese calendar.

All over the United States, these celebrations feature parades, colorful costumes, floats and other attractions. These celebrations are not just limited to China Town.

The Chinese community is the largest Asian group in the United States. The Chinese comprise of more than 20 percent of the 30 million people who identify themselves as Asians in the United States. This translates to about 6 million reporting as Chinese, the largest Asian group in the United States.

Many Asian communities in the United States also take part in the Chinese New Year celebrations. Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco is considered as one of the largest celebration of its kind outside of Asia. Over 100 units will participate in the parade, many of the floats and specialty units will feature the theme of this year’s zodiac sign. Some of the parade highlights include elaborately decorated floats, school marching bands, martial arts group, stilt walkers, lion dancers, Chinese acrobatics and the Golden Dragon.

The Chinese language is unique and consists of several dialect groups such as Mandarin, Wu, Yue (Cantonese), Min, Gan, Hakka and Xiang (Hunanese). However in the western world, we deal mainly with two “flavors”, Chinese Simple and Traditional.

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