Americans greet the Year of the Tiger with a cautious roar

A lot of Americans who make a New Year’s resolution on January 1 to, say, eat healthier or exercise more abandon their goals within a few weeks, research shows. The good news? They have a chance for a fresh start as the Lunar New Year begins February 1.

Based on an ancient calendar system and celebrated in Asia for thousands of years, the Lunar New Year is a big deal in the United States too, especially in cities where many Asian Americans live. The pandemic canceled festivities last year, but this year — the Year of the Tiger — organizers are moving cautiously ahead with outdoor commemorative activities.

San Francisco, which typically boasts the largest celebration outside of Asia, will hold a nighttime parade downtown February 19 at the end of the festival. According to William Gee, who works for San Francisco’s Chinese Chamber of Commerce, there are some 100 entries — floats and marching bands — and a live television broadcast planned.

Celebrations in Houston will include traditional lion dancers, a craft market and vendors selling good-luck foods like noodles and dumplings. “It tends to be very family-oriented,” says Stephanie Wong, spokeswoman for the Houston-based Asia Society Texas. “There’s lots of eating and preparing of foods together. It’s a really auspicious time.”

The Year of the Tiger comes around every 12 years — the last one was in 2010 — and tradition says people born during that year tend to be bold and confident, just like Tom Cruise and Lady Gaga, two well-known Americans born in a Year of the Tiger.

This article was written by freelance writer Tim Neville.