For 38 years the Chinese Cultural Society of Stockton has put on an innovative celebration for the Chinese New Year that now incorporates a parade followed by a festival all in one day.
The parade through downtown Stockton starts with a route that recognizes some of the historic locations of early Chinese pioneers, and the festival follows in the Stockton Memorial Civic Auditorium.
“Our goal at the Chinese Culture Society of Stockton is to bring awareness of the Chinese culture to Stockton and the surrounding area,” said Loreen Huey, member of CCSS. “That’s why we work so hard on this event.”
This year’s Chinese New Year celebration, the year of the Monkey, will be held on March 6.
“About 2,000 people come to the parade and the festival,” said Huey. “It’s a fun, free family event that you don’t want to miss.”
Entertainment includes tai chi demonstrations, folk dance performances, an award-winning lion dance troupe, magicians, jugglers, Peking opera and more.
“We spend a lot of money for entertainment on stage and there is no charge or admission fee,” said Huey. “It’s just continuous entertainment and we’re proud of that.”
The two-part event will start with the parade at 10 a.m. and continue to the festival at 525 North Center St. until 5 p.m. where it will conclude.
“This event brings such a great crowd; it’s not hard to find,” said Huey.
The event is organized and ran by volunteers who dedicate their time and efforts to make this day special for those involved and those who are learning about the culture and experiencing it for the first time.
“We say this helps us defend our culture and keep it alive,” Huey added. “We hardly make money on it, but that’s not what it’s about, it’s about sharing our culture in a fun environment.”Year of the Monkey
Chinese New Year's Day is the first day of the Chinese lunar calendar. But the date is different each year on the Gregorian (internationally-used) calendar, between Jan. 21 and Feb. 20. In 2016, it's Feb. 8.
In China, New Year's is week-long celebration and people usually have seven consecutive days off from work.
Chinese New Year 2016 will be a year of the Monkey. "Monkeys" are people born in 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992 and 2004. They are witty, intelligent and have a magnetic personality.
However, for Monkeys 2016 is considered a bad year. According to Chinese astrology, people in their zodiac year are believed to offend Tai Sui, the God of Age, and incur his curse. It is believed to bring nothing but bad luck. Therefore Chinese astrology followers pay special attention to their conduct in their birth sign years.
"Monkeys" can avoid bad luck by: 1. Wearing red clothing items (they can't buy the red clothing themselves, however, they have to be gifts from friends or family members); 2. Wearing jade jewelry or accessories; 3. Facing away from the astrological position of Tai Sui — this year that means that Monkeys should face northeast whenever possible.