Gung Hay Fat Choy! For many Asian cultures, the Lunar New Year is a time of renewal and family, with activities meant to discard the misfortunes and negatives of the past to make room and welcome prosperity, good luck and health for the coming year. The Southwest Airlines ® Chinese New Year Festival and Parade celebrations in San Francisco are some of the largest in the world, just minutes from NEMA. This year’s celebration will look a little different with a new element to usher in the lunar year.
The Chinese Chamber of Commerce of San Francisco is debuting The Year of the Ox on Parade for Lunar New Year 2021. 11 life-sized oxen, designed by local artists, will be publicly displayed across San Francisco to help ring in the new year of the Ox. They have worked with local artists to design each Ox to reflect upon the Chinese culture, people, and traditions. The Oxen will be on parade from February 3 through March 14, 2021. After the celebration, each Ox will be auctioned off to benefit local Chinatown non-profit organizations.
The live Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade is canceled for 2021, but in its place on February 20, 2021 at 6pm will be a Parade Broadcast Special and a special livestreamed Parade Preshow at 4:30pm on KTVU Fox 2 and KTSF 26.
Explore some of the amazing Ox on Parade we can look forward to:
Southwest is serving more than Heart. The Tea Time ox is a colorful dreamscape. Three golden teapots are seen pouring tea, each representing respect, family, and hospitality. The scale of the teapots symbolizes the traditions passed down from generation to generation with the largest pot representing the ancestors and the smallest representing the youngest generation. The Chinese-stylized clouds symbolize good fortune and happiness, while the pink plum blossoms represent purity and perseverance. Its use of bold red and gold colors honors and celebrates this cultural tradition. Artist: Stephanie Mufson
U-N-I-T-Y In the Year of the Ox Together with Wells Fargo. The Unity Ox stands in confidence, looking towards the future to a new year filled with happiness and prosperity, together with the community. The modern take on traditional celebratory Lunar New Year colors overlaps to provide a sense of movement and flow to represent the coming together of people. Floral accents on the horns and body symbolize the coming of spring and new beginnings. A wave pattern covers the hooves signifying a sea of blessings for the new year. Scribed across the body of the Ox is a common phrase that echoes the sentiment of togetherness and community translating to, “millions of people together as one.” Artist: Eduardo Valadez Arenas
AARP Shares the Love. The xOXo Ox represents the vigor and vitality of the elders in our community. In the position of strength, the Ox stands proud in colorful textures to represent the silk fabrics of the traditional Chinese attire. The various colors overlap to symbolize the coming together of family. The intricate design in the front signifies the wisdom of the ancestors and the older generation. As the design progresses back, the colors and textures are simplified to represent the younger generation. The heart motif throughout symbolizes shared roots, history, love, and family connections. On the body of the Ox, there are four calligraphy symbols representing joy, age, vigor, and strength, to depict a “joyful silver hair(ed) life with vigor.” Artist Monique Zhang
Salesforce Honors the Past in a Modern Way. The Ancient Technology Ox features colorful clouds that serve a double meaning: they are a traditional symbol of good fortune, and also allude to the modern meaning of the cloud as part of the technological society we now share. Rounded rectangles refer to the various screens of our favorite devices, offering windows into the history and cultural impact of various Chinese Inventions. Just as our connection to each other is made stronger through the various methods of communication offered to us through our screens, the gold linework dancing from one window to the next connects them all to each other. Each rounded rectangle also emits 3 lines and three curves, illustrating the use of wifi and voice communication in our highly connected world. The use of the plum blossom branches represents family, culture, and history. Each blossom is an individual – part of and connected by shared roots. Artist: Stephanie Mufson
Comcast Steps with Us into the New Year. The New Hope Ox statue showcases themes of springtime, strength, and peace. With its eyes looking ahead, the statue conveys progress and forward movement into the new and unknown horizon. The Chinese plum blossom branches and flowers featured throughout the statue’s design represent perseverance, strength, and bravery. Red fire strips fuel the flames of success in business and life, while the Chinese clouds signify luck and peace. Artist: Deyi (Robin) Zhao
Cruise Connects the Community. The Modern Tech Bull merges the idea of family reunion with technology. The yellow lines represent transportation from one place to another, connecting us to our families and friends. The artist’s use of the blue gradient represents the coming of spring for the new year, as well as progress and electricity. The hexagon shape is utilized to symbolize technology and advancement. While the orange foliage ties into sustainability and Cruise’s zero-emission vehicles. Artist: Brian Travis Williams
Bank of America Pays Homage to Chinatown. The Homage to Chinatown is a modern take on the traditional blue and white Chinese Porcelain motifs with auspicious symbols and references to Chinatown. Spring flora, such as the peony and lotus, represent wealth, success, and purity. The golden tail of the Phoenix, a swallow, and a dragonfly symbolizes luck and family. The artist’s use of the red lanterns is meant to reflect the strings of hanging lanterns and the various areas of teal green mimic the iconic tiled roofs of Chinatown. Clouds and ocean waves found on the legs and hooves of the Ox symbolize good wishes, peace, and hope for the future. Artist: Deyi (Robin) Zhao
PG&E Welcomes 2021 Year of the Ox with a Focus on Diversity. The Diversity Ox embraces several Lunar New Year greetings in different languages with a traditional upside-down 福 [fú] Chinese character. Meaning luck or prosperity, the inverse display means that “Fu” has arrived. Diversity is integral to PG&E’s core values and our strategy. The Parade Guys are Northern California’s premier parade float company, building floats for annual events like the Chinese New Year Parade and Pride as well as victory floats for the San Francisco Giants and the Golden State Warriors.
Learn more about the oxen, the artists, and the inspiration behind each design in Featured Stories.
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