Happy New Year everyone! No, I'm not late. This is the Lunar New Year, or Chinese New Year, and it is one of my favorite celebrations!
From China to Thailand and from Hong Kong to Cambodia and from Macau to the Philippines (plus the US and Canada, and so many other parts of the world, today is a big deal. in many places it is a legal holiday, and in some places there are even three days of celebrating! You don't have to be Asian to appreciate this special day either. I always find it especially nice to explore the celebraions of other cultures. If you are in a major city, I'm sure there are some wonderful experiences these next few days, welcoming the Year of the Monkey.
Did you know that Chinese New Year festivals and parades actually began in San Francisco, and not in China? Over a hundred contingents participate in the annual Chinese New Year Parade there, with some 500,000 people along the parade route (which includes downtown, Union Square, and a portion of Chinatown) and another 3 million viewers watch on television. That parade, by the way, is on Frbruary 20, and details about it can be found at http://www.chineseparade.com/ - there are a number of other related San Francisco events that are detailed there as well.
My wish to you all is for a bright future, good knowledge, and great success in this year ahead!