Meet an Executive – Ed Chin

January 30, 2012 by  
Filed under Bay, Events, Featured

You are invited to join us for 2012′s first “Meet an Executive” event. This time, you will have the wonderful opportunity to meet the temporary Deputy Assistant Regional Commissioner for Processing Center Operations (DARC-PCO) in PC5, Edmond Chin. Read more

South Coast PAAC Volunteer Pictures

January 30, 2012 by  
Filed under Gallery, South Coast

Each day, hunger is experienced in every community across the country.  Ending hunger in America depends on the volunteers who know that they can make a difference. It’s simple – get involved!

On December 17, 2011, PAAC members in and around South Coast recently helped the local community by sorting and repackaging donated food to be directed where it’s needed most, the homeless.  Addressing their needs is critical throughout the year, especially during the winter months.  Read more

Chinese New Year 2012 – Year of the Dragon

January 20, 2012 by  
Filed under Events, Featured

Chinese New Year is the longest and most important celebration in the Lunar calendar. This year’s new year begins on Monday, January 23, 2012. In China it will be the year 4710. A powerful sign, those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Dragon are energetic and warm-hearted, charismatic, lucky at love and egotistic. They’re natural born leaders, good at giving orders and doing what’s necessary to remain on top. Traditionally festivities begin the first day of the month and last until the fifteenth day when the moon is thought to be the brightest. A lantern festival is held on the last day.

Chinese New Year is celebrated in countries and territories with significant Chinese populations, including Mainland China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and basically anywhere with a Chinatown. Because of the magnitude of this holiday, geographical neighbors from Vietnam and Korea are also influenced.

According to folklore, Buddha invited all the animals to join him for dinner on Chinese New Year. Only 12 animals showed up and each of those animals were named after a year. He also said that people born in the year of a particular animal would share some of the same characteristics. Those born in the year of the dragon are thought to be innovative, brave, and passionate. Chinese zodiacs have become very popular in cultures to predict fortunes.

People most often wear red during Chinese New Years’ celebrations. Red symbolizes fire, which according to legend can scare away bad luck. For the same reason red is considered to be lucky. One tradition children like most during the celebration is receiving “lucky” money in red envelopes. Children must greet their elders by saying “Gung Hay Fat Choy”, which means, “Congratulations and be prosperous”. Another tradition children are not so fond of is cleaning the house. It is believed that cleaning the home cleanses it from old and bad habits. Sweeping the front entryway to the home is a must.

New Years eves dinner is the most important meal of the festivities. Traditionally family members gather at home and a 9-course meal is prepared. The number 9 phonetically sounds like the Chinese word meaning “plentiful or enough”. I hope you all have a great new year this 2012 – the year of the dragon! I wish you and your family good health, good wealth, and good fortune. Happy New Year, Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Upcoming events: 2/11/12 – The Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco was named one of the top ten parades by the International Festivals and Events Association. Parade highlights include elaborate floats, lion dancers, folk dancers, marching bands, Chinese acrobats, and a 250 foot long Golden Dragon.