Framework

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Jan. 26, 1928: Chinese New Year on Apablasa Street in L.A.'s Chinatown. Photo published in the Jan. 27, 1928, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

Feb. 2, 1930: The Chinese Lion goes about collecting gifts hung over doors during New Year's celebrations in L.A.'s Chinatown. This photo was published in the Feb. 3, 1930, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

Feb. 14, 1942: The black dragon, right, loses a fight with Gum Lung, the golden dragon, during the New Year's celebration in L.A.'s China City. The black dragon of evil represented the dying year and, according to the Times' 1942 caption, the military party of Japan.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Ray Graham / Los Angeles Times

Feb. 7, 1942: The caption in the next morning's L.A. Times read, "Priests yesterday before the altar at China City as they read the ancient ceremony in which an effigy of the Kitchen God was burned that its spirit might ascend to report on Los Angeles Chinese families."

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Ray Graham / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 21, 1955: The Chung Wah Chinese School Drum and Bugle Corps performs in the Chinese New Year parade in L.A.'s Chinatown.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bruce Cox / Los Angeles Times

Feb. 1, 1963: A dragon, manipulated by 40 men, takes part in the Chinese New Year parade for the Year of the Rabbit in L.A.'s New Chinatown.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Al Monteverde / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 21, 1966: A dragon parades on North Broadway, celebrating 4,664th Chinese New Year to greet the "Year of the Horse."

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bill Murphy / Los Angeles Times

Feb. 10, 1967: An estimated 30,000 attend the "Year of the Ram" Chinese New Year celebration in L.A.'s Chinatown.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jack Gaunt / Los Angeles Times

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Chinese New Year celebrations in Los Angeles

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Chinese New Year celebrations in Los Angeles

The first photo in the above photo gallery was published in the Jan. 27, 1928, Los Angeles Times. The original caption reported:

Yesterday Was Bad Day for Invisible Devils

“Happy New Year!” being said Chinese style down on Apablasa street in Chinatown. The lion doing his annual dance, bringing good luck for the new year and driving away any stray devils from the doorstep mid the smoke of booming firecrackers.

Apablasa Street was in Old Chinatown. Most of the community was removed for construction of Union Station. There have actually been four Chinese communities in downtown Los Angeles. A good explanation was written by author Lisa See in this Los Angeles Times Book review article of May 31, 2009:

Lisa See’s sixth novel, “Shanghai Girls” (Random House: 314 pp., $25), comes out this week; she is also the author of the superlative family history “On Gold Mountain.” As she has long acknowledged, the Chinese heritage of her father’s family has been a significant influence on her life and work…

“Shanghai Girls” is about two sisters who leave China and come to Los Angeles in arranged marriages in 1938. There were four Chinatowns in Los Angeles at that time: New Chinatown — with its neon lights and gaily painted buildings on Broadway; City Market Chinatown — for produce sellers and their families; Old Chinatown — comprised of the few buildings that survived the demolition required to build Union Station; and China City — a tourist attraction bordered by Ord, Spring, Main and Macy streets. Pearl and May, my fictional sisters, live in the Garnier Building in Old Chinatown, where the Chinese American Museum is today, and they work in China City.

Chinese New Year 2012 brings in the Year of the Dragon. Enjoy this look back at previous celebrations.

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