Annual Events

JANUARY

Lunar New Year Tet Festival – the Vietnamese community’s celebration of the new year in Little Saigon, SF, featuring music, dance, and food.

Oakland Chinatown Lunar New year Bazaar – ” The outdoor bazaar allows local businesses to sell traditional flowers and gifts in celebration of Chinese New Years The event is located inside the Pacific Renaissance Plaza’s Courtyard and surrounding streets. The Bazaar features diverse cultural entertainment, exquisite food demonstrations, fortune telling, and a Little Prince and Princess Contest (sponsored by Oakland Chinatown Lion’s Club).”

FEBRUARY

Chinese New Year Parade “Named one of the world’s top ten parades, Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco is the largest celebration of its kind outside of Asia,” according to the site. This parade has everything– ferocious lions, exploding firecrackers, school marching bands, martial arts group, stilt walkers, lion dancers, Chinese acrobatics, the newly crowned Miss Chinatown USA and the Golden Dragon.

Chinatown Community Street Fair Held the weekend of the Chinese New Year parade in SF Chinatown, this two-day fair features Chinese cultural arts such as lantern and kite making, calligraphy, fine arts demonstrations, folk dance, puppet shows, acrobats, lion dancing, and magic demonstrations.

Chinese New Year Flower FairThe weekend before the lunar new year, this festival in SF Chinatown offers traditional holiday plants, flowers and fruits for sale. There’s also traditional Chinese dance, music, art and cultural displays.

MARCH

San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival –  SFIAAFF is put on by the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM). According to the website, it’s “the nation’s largest showcase for new Asian American and Asian films, annually presenting approximately 120 works in San Francisco, Berkeley and San Jose.” Don’t miss it!

APRIL

Northern California Cherry Blossom FestivalHeld in SF’s Japantown, the festival is a showcase of Japanese and Japanese American culture featuring food booths, cultural performances, martial arts, live bands, the annual Queen Program, and more. It “is said to be the second largest festival outside of Washington, D.C. to celebrate the blooming of cherry blossoms; and held at one of three remaining Japantowns in the United States,” according to the website.

MAY

Taiwanese American Cultural Festival – Held at Union Square in San Francisco, “a day of unique cultural performances, food, and fun at what has become the annual landmark event for the Bay Area Taiwanese American community.”

SF Asian Heritage Street CelebrationOrganized by the AsianWeek Foundation, this event is a celebration of all Asian and Pacific Islander cultures featuring food, outdoor entertainment, vendors, arts and crafts, you name it.

SF International Arts Festival – “Celebrates the arts through an annual gathering that brings together a global community of artists and audiences.”

JUNE

Fiesta Filipina A celebration of Filipino culture in downtown San Francisco!

Ethnic Dance Festival A festival intended to showcase the ethnic diversity of dance companies in the bay area, it features everything from traditional classical dance to sacred dance genres to vernacular dance forms to social dance and folk dance presentations.

JULY

Indonesian Day Indonesian traditional dance performances, songs, music, martial arts, arts and crafts, and authentic Indonesian cuisine. Held in downtown San Francisco.

Kababayan FestHeld at Great America, this festival is geared towards Filipino American youth culture. Past features include popular Filipino and Filipino American singers, dance teams, stand up comedians, food, and vendors.

AUGUST

Pistahan Parade and Festival A display of Filipino and Filipino American pride, this festival features Filipino art, dance, music and food at the Yerba Buena Gardens. Past features have included Adobo Cook-Offs and Balut-Eating Contests, dance, and Filipino American jazz.

Nihonmachi Street Fairheld in SF Japantown, this fair has a history linked to youth activism in the 70s and remains unique in that it is organized by APA youth.

San Francisco Aloha Festival This two day festival’s entertainment highlights include Pacific Islander music as well as Polynesian dance. There’s also arts & crafts vendors, island cuisine, and educational exhibits

Oakland Chinatown Street Fest – “Consisting of more than 200 booths, the festival will span nine to ten blocks of Chinatown. Every year small businesses and community organizations from all over California come to showcase a myriad of delicious foods, unique Asian products, and special services. There will be arts & crafts, entertainment on three stages, and a Cultural Village presented by the the Oakland Asian Cultural Center.”

SEPTEMBER

Autumn Moon Festival Street FairHeld in SF Chinatown, this festival commemorating a significant holiday on the Chinese lunar calendar features over 200 art and crafts booths, food concessions, and nonstop street and stage entertainment, such as Asian-themed dancers and drummers, traditional and contemporary musicians including martial artists, magicians, and hourly lion dance performances.

Japantown Anime Faire

OCTOBER

NOVEMBER

DECEMBER

Parol Festival A festival in downtown San Francisco featuring Filipino Christmas lanterns called “parols.” It’s free food, good music, and Filipino elders. What’s not to love?

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