Arts & Entertainment

Chinese New Year starts with a bang in LA's Chinatown

Posing with the kitchen god.
Posing with the kitchen god.
John Rabe
Posing with the kitchen god.
The first day of the Lunar New Year and of the Year of the Dragon
John Rabe
Posing with the kitchen god.
Shopkeeps in Chinatown celebrate the New Year.
John Rabe
Posing with the kitchen god.
Incense is lit at the parade.
John Rabe
Posing with the kitchen god.
Lettuce hanging above the doorway of the Teo Chew Association, part of the Chinese New Year observation.
John Rabe
Posing with the kitchen god.
Lighting the incense
John Rabe
Posing with the kitchen god.
A Chinese dragon
John Rabe
Posing with the kitchen god.
Incense at a shrine in Chinatown.
John Rabe
Posing with the kitchen god.
John Rabe
Posing with the kitchen god.
John Rabe
Posing with the kitchen god.
John Rabe
Posing with the kitchen god.
John Rabe
Posing with the kitchen god.
John Rabe
Posing with the kitchen god.
John Rabe


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The Lunar New Year began at midnight Monday. Los Angeles' Chinatown welcomed the Year of the Dragon Monday morning.

In the traditional Chinese calendar, this is the beginning of spring. You get together with friends and family, clean the house, clear up all your debts, forget old grudges and set off firecrackers.

Lots of firecrackers. At just this one event, at the Teo Chew Association in Chinatown, the pyrotechnician told me he brought about half a million firecrackers to light Monday morning.

It sounded like it.

And this is only the beginning. The biggest event is probably the Golden Dragon Parade in Chinatown, which happens Saturday at 1 p.m.

The photos were taken in the Teo Chew Association, a group that aids Chinese from many countries when they come to the U.S.