February 14, 2012

Year of The Black Water Dragon ~ 2012

photos by Styrous®                

I remember my father taking me to see the San Francisco Chinese New Year parade when I was a little kid. I went to see it from time to time until I was into my twenties. In those days the parade went along Grant Avenue in Chinatown. The streets were jammed with people but you could see because the crowd was only five or six deep; maybe it was because Grant is too narrow to allow for more or maybe there weren't as many people in attendance. I don't know. But it was loud, wild and wonderful. Fire crackers went off all around you and you took your chances. Everyone was very careful and watched out; they took responsibility for themselves. The last time I saw the New Years parade on Grant Avenue was on February, 13 1964. It was the year of the Green Wood Dragon. The photo below is from a stereo slide.

(click on any image for slideshow)
Chinese New Year, February 13, 1964
Grant Avenue, San Francisco 
photo by Styrous®

In the mid 1970's, the parade route was moved from Grant Avenue to it's present one along Market Street. A few years after it was moved I went to see it. The sidewalks were jammed and you couldn't see anything because it was twenty or more people deep. It was not fun; a completely different experience from the ones I remembered in my youth. So, it has been decades since I've gone to see it.

This year, 2012, is the year of the Black Water Dragon. The dragon is a powerful symbol of strength and vitality (there are metal, water, wood, fire and earth dragons). The Dragon is the most auspicious year of them all. I was born in a Dragon Year. I am a White Metal Dragon, so, I had to go to see it. This is my Dragon year and this is what I saw . . . 

Then, the Grand Dragon made it's entrance to conclude the parade.

  photo by Styrous®

 photos by Styrous®

Styrous ~ February 14, 2012

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