Chinese New Year Festival & Parade SF_chineseNY_Hero_1280x642_sized
Stephane/Flickr

JANUARY OR FEBRUARY

Chinese New Year Festival & Parade

The largest Chinese New Year celebration outside of Asia, this San Francisco tradition draws thousands of revelers. The undeniable highlight—and huge crowds prove it—is the nighttime parade snaking through Chinatown. Elaborate dragons and lion dancers swirl past the sidewalks designed to clear out any evil spirits that might muck up the year ahead. Keep in mind that this event can be seriously loud—it’s tradition to fling fireworks at New Year’s—so be ready for an endless snap-crackle-pop well into the night.