Chinese New Year: Dragons near and far mark Year of the Rabbit

Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger

Chinese New Year begins Thursday, but the celebrations last for 15 more days.

In Hong Kong, elaborate floats will light up Victoria Harbor during a Thursday night parade to celebrate the beginning of the new year. In Singapore, floats and lion and dragon dancers will take to the streets for the elaborate Chingay Parade on Feb. 11-12 that typically draws about 200,000 spectators.

For those looking for things to do closer to home, here are some events within easy reach to mark the Year of the Rabbit:

PHOTO GALLERY: Chinese New Year decorations at the Bellagio and the Palazzo in Las Vegas.


Los Angeles: The Golden Dragon Parade & Festival will take place 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in Chinatown at Cesar Chavez and Broadway. The parades, with a traditional “dragon,” marching bands, floats and more, will start at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Las Vegas: A ceremonial Dragon Dance will begin at the gateway to the Venetian, thread its way through the hotel’s casino, move on to the Palazzo’s decorated waterfall and then into that hotel’s casino. The free event will begin at 3 p.m. Thursday.

Las Vegas: The Chinese New Year Celebration & Asian Food Festival at Sin City’s Chinatown Plaza will include lion dances, taiko drumming, Chinese folk dancing and more. Tickets costs $3 for adults; $1 for children 6 to 12; free under age 6. The event will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 13.

San Francisco: The Chinese New Year Festival and Parade in this city has its roots in the 1860s. A 250-foot dragon, carried by 100 men and women, will snake its way through the streets along with acrobats, marching bands and other entertainment. The parade will run from 5:15 p.m. to 8 pm. Feb. 19.