year of the ox

Feb. 12 marks the start of the Lunar New Year, the Year of the Ox. The second animal of the Chinese zodiac, the ox represents honesty, hard work and determination. While large-scale events remain on hold due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, Bay Area organizations are still planning celebrations, mainly online but some with in-person opportunities, such as a “parade” of painted ox sculptures that will be placed around San Francisco.

Asian Art Museum Lunar New Year events. The San Francisco museum will host a series of online Lunar New Year events, including a family-friendly storytelling session on Jan. 28 at 6 p.m., with stories of animals and beasts and a close look at artworks from the museum collection. Recommended for ages 10 and up. You can register for free here or make a donation up to $25.

Chinese New Year Festival and Parade. This year’s famous parade and in-person festivities have been canceled due to COVID-19 but the parade sponsor, the San Francisco Chinese Chamber of Commerce, has instead planned a televised special to be broadcast at 6 p.m. on Feb. 20 on KTVU. “The Year of the Ox on Parade” will take place from Feb. 3 to March 14 with 11 life-sized ox sculptures, each designed by a different artist, on display throughout San Francisco.

Chinese New Year Talk. Join the Santa Cruz Chi Center and Dr. LeTa, doctor of acupuncture and Chinese medicine, in person or online on Feb. 13 at 9 a.m. for a new year talk on feng shui energies and more. $20. 

Filoli Lunar New Year. Filoli will host a virtual Lunar New Year celebration on Feb. 12 with demonstrations, talks and more. Check website for details. 

Oakland Asian Cultural Center Lunar New Year Celebration. This year’s celebration will take place online on YouTube Live from Feb. 12-18 with a variety of events highlighting different cultures that celebrate Lunar New Year. 

Oakland Museum of California Lunar New Year Events. OMCA will hold a series of virtual events for its 20th annual Lunar New Year Celebration, including a Chinese Zodiac storytime with author Oliver Chin on Feb. 12 and a virtual trip to Taiwan on Feb. 26. The events can be found on the museum's YouTube channel. Starting the week of Feb. 15, there will be instructions for at-home crafts including red envelopes and Chinese Zodiac animal masks at OMCA at Home.

Janine DeFao is an associate editor at Bay Area Parent.