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Bok Kai Festival

Chinese New Year is celebrated in Marysville with a festival honoring Bok Eye, the Chinese Water God. Chinese, from as far away as Taiwan, come to worship at the secluded Bok Kai Temple in Marysville, California.

The Temple, built in 1879 by Chinese emigrants, houses many gods, but the primary god is Bok Eye. Bok Eye protects believers from floods and provides bountiful water for farming. The Marysville Temple is the only one dedicated to Bok Eye in the Western Hemisphere. Public tours of the Temple are available during the festival, and on the third Sunday of each month from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The highlight of the Annual Festival is the Bok Kai Parade. This parade, produced annually for more than 100 years, is the oldest continuing parade in California.

A crash of gongs, the crack of fireworks and the pounding of drums signal the beginning of the Bok Kai Parade. Marching bands, floats, fire trucks, antique cars and more precede the Lion Dancers and Kim Lung, the festival's 150 foot long dragon. Over 15,000 spectators line the streets of Marysville each year to watch.

Don't worry about rain. Thanks to Bok Eye, it's never rained on a Bok Kai Parade!

Other activities include art exhibits, martial arts demonstrations and food vendors. The festivities culminate with the firing of 100 ceremonial bombs and the scramble for the "good luck" rings contained inside the bombs.

Since the festival celebrates the New Year according to the Chinese lunar calendar, the date of the Festival is different each year.


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