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Chinese New Year 2014; The Year of the Horse

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Friday is the first day of Chinese New Year, a multi-day celebration marked by money-stuffed red envelopes, dragon imagery and, in the Southland, a flood of tourists from Asia.


A dragon lights up at the Grove. Other L.A.-area malls, meanwhile, are celebrating Chinese New Year with wishing   trees, crafts, fortune cookies and face painting.  (Credit: Christina House /January 29, 2014)

For the first time, many local shopping centers are greeting the surge in potential customers with fanfare and parades dedicated to the Year of the Horse, festooning their courtyards with paper lanterns and hiring experts in traditional Chinese arts.

The hullabaloo over the holiday — also known as the Spring Festival or Lunar New Year — is a calculated move at many of those retail properties, designed to attract the region’s vast and growing Asian presence into stores after a lackluster year for retail sales.

The Grove shopping center in Los Angeles’ Fairfax district has erected a towering totem of red cloth and bamboo poles guarded by glittering representations of mythical Chinese beings. Through Sunday, the Sprinkles store there will sell red cupcakes with the image of a horse stamped onto a sugar medallion.

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