129th Bok Kai Festival

Posted Mar 6 2009

Images from the 129th Bok Kai Festival in Marysville, CA, honoring the Chinese god of water, as well as the pioneering Chinese of the 1800s. This two day event included a parade, which was very multicultural in nature, performances, history lectures, and The Bomb Day Celebration, which includes the firing of lucky rings into the air, leading to a mad dash by select crowd members who hope to catch one of them. This can lead to an all out scrum!

In addition to all of these activities I wandered around town, coming across a new favorite bookstore, Amicus Books, and some interesting graffiti. There’s a levy behind the Bok Kai Temple and while distinguished Chinese and Chinese Americans gathered on one side, the other side was enlightening as well. Although it wasn’t the most visually appealing, the graffiti definitely gave some insight into the social life of teens, including couples, ex-couples, gangs, race relations, and drugs. Both elements of the trip were enjoyable and it was good to see another side of California.

There’s quite a bit of history in this area, which is about two hours north of San Francisco, including the assertion that there are more people of Punjabi descent than any place in the world outside of India! It’s definitely something I may come back to explore.


1. Mike Palmer said at March 6, 2009 4:11 am:

Wow, that's random! I figured a Chinese festival would be just dragons, but bagpipes, mariachis, gorillas (WTF?!) ... now that's just bizarre. Looks like a good time though. America truly is the melting pot, mate.

2. Daniel said at March 8, 2009 3:37 am:

It was definitely interesting. It ebbed and flowed between feeling watered down, great to be inclusive, to feeling very Chinese. It was definitely fun. It was about a two hour drive for me, but well worth it! There's a book that tackles this subject, called "Under the Dragon" That deals with these issues.

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