One of the best things about Chicago is how we celebrate...basically everything! But the lunar new year - or Chinese New Year - is particularly special, and not just in Chinatown. That said, the parade there is pretty amazing, and we love seeing it - and all the colorful pictures - every year. And it's especially amazing to be living in a city that has multiple Spring Festival parades!
Chicago has one of the largest Chinatowns in North America, but the celebration extends throughout the city with events at Navy Pier, the Chicago Symphony Center, the Art Institute, and more. The Lunar New Year or Spring Festival is one of the most popular Chinese holidays, and it's meant to honor one's ancestors and kick off the new year, and much of it is centered around food, clothing worn, and other cultural traditions. It's also time to deep clean one's home, exchange gifts, and celebrate with parades, hang red paper lanterns, and more.
This year is the year of the Pig. According to ChineseZodiac.net, "the Pig is the twelfth of all zodiac animals. According to one myth, the Jade Emperor said the order would be decided by the order in which they arrived to his party. Pig was late because he overslept. Another story says that a wolf destroyed his house. He had to rebuild his home before he could set off. When he arrived, he was the last one and could only take twelfth place. The Pig is also associated with the Earthly Branch (地支—dì zhī) hài (亥), and the hours 9–11 in the night. In terms of yin and yang (阴阳—yīn yáng), the Pig is yin. In Chinese culture, pigs are the symbol of wealth. Their chubby faces and big ears are signs of fortune as well."
May we all have good fortune in the year of the pig!
If you want to see the parades in Chicago, there's a parade on Argyle Street on Saturday, February 9th and one in Chinatown on Sunday, February 10th.
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