Chinese New Year Parade
Photo Gallery

This is the Chinese Lunar Year
The Year of the Monkey

The Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco is the largest celebration of its kind outside of Asia. It is also considered one of the top ten parades in the world. Over 100 units, including 27 floats, are feature in this year's theme, "the Year of the Monkey". The parade highlights include elaborately decorated floats, school marching bands, martial arts group, stilt walkers, lion dancers, Chinese acrobatics, the newly crowned Miss Chinatown U.S.A. and the Golden Dragon ("Gum Lung"). The Golden Dragon is over 200 feet long, made with layers of silk, gauze and velvet which cover a bamboo frame. It is carried by a team of over a 100 men and women. It's always featured at the end of the parade as the grand finale and will be accompanied by over 600,000 firecrackers.

By clicking on them you will bring up a larger JPEG view of them.

The Chinese animal signs are a 12-year cycle used for dating the years. They represent a cyclical concept of time, rather than the Western linear concept of time. The Chinese Lunar Calendar is based on the cycles of the moon, and is constructed in a different fashion than the Western solar calendar. In the Chinese calendar, the beginning of the year falls somewhere between late January and early February. The twelve animal signs in order are:

Rat    Ox    Tiger    Rabbit
Dragon    Snake    Horse    Sheep
Monkey    Rooster    Dog    Pig

Check your daily horoscope at this link for this animal sign:  Monkey

Links to Participants photos page

  1. Getting Ready - Final preparation before the start of the parade
  2. Macy's - A corporate sponsor's float

  3. Wu Yee - The Wu Yee Service organization float
  4. Ford - Ford, a major sponsor, has this two trailer float
  5. SouthWest Airlines - This float belongs to SouthWest, the primary sponsor of the SF Chinese New Year Parade.

  6. Dragon Boat Assn - The Dragon Boat Assn rehearses before the start of the parade
  7. Macau - The Island of Macau sponsor this "Come Visit Us" float
  8. Float - A float with a Chinese wedding theme

  9. Float - A float showing off the Monkey theme
  10. Queens Float - A view of the elaborate Queens Float
  11. Bank of the West - An elaborate float sponsor by Bank of the West

  12. Float - A new sponsor - McDonald
  13. Float - An elaborate decorated float
  14. Float - The Sing Tau newspaper float, the calendar ladies will ride on the back of the float

  15. Float - A giant fruit basket
  16. Float - Final prep on this water fall float
  17. Float - A float sponsor by Albertsons

  18. Float - The Wells Fargo Float
  19. Float - Eldorado Casino special effect float, notice the gold dust out of the front

    Scenes from the parade at night

  20. Dragon - One of the many dragon weaving in and out during the parade
  21. Dragon - Another dragon shows off its colors
  22. Fireworks - The Fireworks float before thousands of firecrackers are set off

  • Princess - The Sing Tau Calendar Girls
  • Princess - A closeup of the Calendar Girls
  • Macau - The Macau dancers doing their routine on the float
  • Macau - The male dancers at the back of the float

    ©Copyright 2004 by jkjue, all rights reserved
    last updated 03/01/2004