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Photos: Lunar New Year parade fills the streets of Chinatown with joy and hope

Joy and hope were in the air as tens of thousands of people descended on San Francisco Chinatown for the first Lunar New Year parade since the onset of the pandemic. In 2020, the Year of the Rat parade was held shortly before San Francisco went into lockdown, while the 2021 festivities took place online only.

The festival filled the streets with colorful cultural displays—such as the traditional Lion Dance, a lively drum procession and intricate floats—and came as a welcome reprieve after two turbulent years, marked by economic uncertainty and a surge in attacks against Asian Americans and their businesses.

Ramneek Saini, the honorary president of the 2022 parade, said that the parade is exactly what Chinatown needs right now. “It looks so great to see so many people here, to bring the community, the people and tourism back,” she told the Standard.

Hollywood star and Asian community activist Daniel Wu kicked off the parade as the Grand Marshal at 5 p.m.

Camille Cohen contributed additional reporting for this story.
Han Li can be reached at