Chinese New Year Celebration on Hyde Street Pier

Shrimp junk GRACE QUAN on San Francisco Bay.
Chinese Sailing Junk


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News Release Date: January 24, 2011

Contact: John Cunane, 415-561-7049

Contact: Chris Edwards, 415-561-7170


Bring in the Chinese New Year at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park’s celebration on February 19, 2011 from 9:30am to 5;00pm at Hyde Street Pier. Join Park Rangers for a day of cultural activities, kid’s crafts, history, folk music and a chance to see the park’s Chinese sailing junk colorfully decorated for the New Year.  

Events begin at 10:00am in the Visitor Center where kids of all ages will have the chance to make ink block prints, use rubber stamps to create New Year decorations, and learn how to fold paper into the delightful origami shapes of shrimp and fish. Craft activities run from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. From 11:00 to 11:30 in the Visitor Center San Francisco teacher/author Irene Dea Collier will present "Fish Tails and Tales," stories about Chinese American fishermen from a unique selection of books about Chinese American history. At 1:00 on the historic ferry boat Eureka, vocalist Wilma Pang and the Chinese Instrumental Ensemble will perform a concert of traditional Cantonese folk music. 

Park Rangers will present talks regarding the pioneering history of Chinese American fishing communities on the west coast, as well as symbols and images used during New Year which have a distinct maritime flavor. Presentations will take place on Hyde Street Pier at 11:00, 11:30, 1:00 and 1:30. Talks will be presented in both English and Cantonese. The day’s celebration will culminate with a colorful Chinese Lion Dance performance at Hyde Street Pier. Two Lions accompanied by musicians on drums and cymbals from Leung’s White Crane Dragon and Lion Dance Association will perform at 2:00. The park’s re-creation of a 19th century San Francisco Bay Chinese shrimping junk will be decorated with four Chinese characters (words) which express the idiomatic saying “yi fan feng shun” (一 帆 风 顺) transforming the junk into a lucky symbol for the New Year. These characters (words) express a wish for “smooth sailing” -- a year that will be smooth and free of obstacles, where one’s efforts, and one’s good fortune are unimpeded. The junk is available for viewing during the park’s open hours: 9:30 to 5:00.

Chinese New Year’s celebrations have been observed in California from as early as the mid 19th century with the first parade taking place in San Francisco in 1853. The park’s first annual Chinese New Year program is inspired by the long historic tradition of American communities in the west celebrating the start of the Chinese Lunar New Year.

For more information, please call the visitor center at (415) 447-5000, or email

San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park is located at the west end of Fisherman’s Wharf, in San Francisco. The park includes a magnificent fleet of historic ships, visitor center, Aquatic Park Historic District and library. For more information about the park, or its public programs, please call 415-447-5000 or visit the park’s website at

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Last updated: March 1, 2015

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