2024’s Golden Dragon Parade Sweeps Through Chinatown, Los Angeles

National Headquarters  |  February 29, 2024
Tzu Chi volunteers demonstrated "community" with partners during the 2024 Chinatown Golden Dragon Parade.
Tzu Chi volunteers showcased "Shared Goodness" with partners during Chinatown's 2024 Golden Dragon Parade. Photo / Lily Lin

Written by Lily Lin
Translated by Janet Li, Andrew Larracuente
Edited by Ariel Chan

On February 17, 2024, the Golden Dragon Parade was held in Chinatown, Los Angeles, featuring nearly 190 parade vehicles, floats, marching bands, and equestrian teams, creating a festive experience. Tzu Chi volunteers also made a shining appearance – some serving as guides for the One Legacy float, some carrying “Vegan and Protecting Life” posters on their backs, and others handing out cards advocating for California’s “Emergency Assistance” policy. They greeted onlookers with bright smiles, displaying the spirited enthusiasm of Tzu Chi volunteers.

Standing Shoulder to Shoulder with Partners

The annual Golden Dragon Parade is the oldest Lunar New Year celebration in the Los Angeles area.
The annual Golden Dragon Parade is the oldest Lunar New Year celebration in the Los Angeles area. Photo/Liangquan She

The 125th Golden Dragon Parade, organized by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles, is the oldest Lunar New Year celebration in the Los Angeles area, attracting tens of thousands of people to line the parade route or watch the televised broadcast every year. Over the past 100 years, the Golden Dragon Parade has evolved from showcasing Chinese traditional culture to a fusion of Eastern and Western elements, featuring antique cars, high school marching bands, Latin dance teams, equestrian teams, and more – illustrating the multicultural characteristics of Southern California.

Equestrian team in the Golden Dragon Parade.
The equestrian team in the Golden Dragon Parade. Photo/Lily Lin
The Chinese community in the Golden Dragon Parade.
Chinese community organizations in the Golden Dragon Parade. Photo/Liangquan Shi

In the parade procession, Tzu Chi volunteers made a brilliant showing, wearing Tzu Chi uniforms, carrying Tzu Chi flagpoles, and serving as guides for the One Legacy float decorated with Chinese-style dragons and red lanterns – drawing the attention of passersby. Two charitable organizations appear side by side, heralding the banner of “Shared Goodness.”

Tzu Chi National Headquarters follows the teachings of Master Cheng Yen, actively engaging in community involvement, and accepted the invitation from One Legacy – the largest organ donation nonprofit organization in the United States – to participate in the annual Golden Dragon Parade. Over the years, One Legacy has collaborated with Southern California hospitals, physicians, transplant centers, and communities, providing long-term support to families who generously donate life organs.

Tzu Chi volunteers served as the forerunners for the One Legacy float, demonstrating the good cooperative relationship between the two parties.
Tzu Chi volunteers guided the One Legacy float, demonstrating the superb cooperation between the two charitable organizations. Photo/Lily Lin, Photo/Liangquan Shi
Tzu Chi volunteers pose with the One Legacy parade float while carrying posters.
Tzu Chi volunteers with One Legacy donors. Photo/Lily Lin

Tim Chang, Chairman of the Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, revealed that Tzu Chi and One Legacy have collaborated for many years. Tzu Chi not only assists One Legacy in promoting bone marrow donation in Asian communities but also accepts referrals from them in other charitable cases. The two sides are the best examples of “Shared Goodness” cooperation between philanthropic organizations. “I hope that in the new year, Tzu Chi can continue to serve as a bridge for organ donation and life with them.”

Walking Billboards of Activism

Tzu Chi volunteers walked in the parade with Tzu Chi promotional posters hanging on their chests.
Tzu Chi volunteers wearing Tzu Chi promotional posters walking in the parade procession. Photo/Liangquan Shi

In addition to supporting long-term partner One Legacy, Tzu Chi volunteer Wenli Zeng, the advocate for this Tzu Chi parade, said that the volunteers had two other important tasks during the parade: to interact with community members to promote Tzu Chi’s philosophy and to assist in promoting the California government’s Listos service directives, spreading “Emergency Assistance” information to more people, mainly Chinese.

Tzu Chi volunteer Zhu Xinru (middle) walks with her mother and son.
Tzu Chi volunteer Sharon Chu (center) and three generations of her family. Photo/Lily Lin
Tzu Chi volunteers introduced Tzu Chi to the marchers.
Tzu Chi volunteers introduce Tzu Chi to parade spectators. Photo/Liangquan Shi

Tzu Chi volunteers wore “Vegan and Protecting Life” posters on their chests or backs for display. During the parade, accompanied by the drumming of the high school band ahead, they gleefully cheered to attract the audience’s attention. Tzu Chi volunteer Sharon Chu and her mother and son walked together. She and her mother both carried “Vegan and Protecting Life” posters. At the same time, her son distributed Listos project cards from the California government “Emergency Assistance” to the parade spectators on the spot. Sharon Chu thoroughly explained the directive’s details to the spectators, demonstrating solid promotional power.

Tzu Chi volunteer Zeng Wenli is in charge of the Tzu Chi Golden Dragon Parade.
Tzu Chi volunteer Wenli Zeng was in charge of this Tzu Chi Golden Dragon Parade. Photo/Lily Lin

Beauty Pageant Queens Commemorating

The Golden Dragon Parade was a feast for the eyes, with beauty pageant queens supporting Tzu Chi. Tiffany Chang – daughter of Tzu Chi Medical Foundation Chairman Tim Chang and pageant winner of both Miss Taiwanese American 2022 and the 35th Miss Asia USA pageant in 2023 – came to Chinatown with other beauty pageant queens to cheer for the Tzu Chi volunteer team. Tiffany Chang is currently a sophomore at Stanford University. She and her parents participated in the parade with the whole family that day. Her father, Tim Chang, said, “Our whole family participated today; it was very joyous. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience, participating in the parade together as father and daughter.”

Zhang Tianjun, chairman of the Tzu Chi American Medical Foundation, and his daughter Zhang Fangyu, the Miss Asian America winner, and her wife participated in the parade.
Tzu Chi USA Medical Foundation Chairman Tim Chang, his daughter Tiffany Chang, champion of the Miss Asia USA Beauty Pageant, and his wife participate in the parade together. Photo/Liangquan Shi
Tzu Chi’s unique creative publicity method.
Tzu Chi's uniquely creative promotional methods. Photo/Liangquan Shi

Happy to Venture Out

What’s the feeling of venturing out of Tzu Chi and into the community? Tzu Chi volunteer Linlin Sun participated in the Golden Dragon Parade for the first time. She said that through the event, she got to know many charitable organizations in the community, which surprised her a lot: “At first, I felt that some charities are very low-key, and you can only see them at other important occasions. Today, I’m so happy to come out and meet them!”

Tzu Chi volunteer Jiwei Sun also participated in the Golden Dragon Parade for the first time this year. He said he was very excited to have the opportunity to represent Tzu Chi in Chinatown. Tzu Chi volunteer Sharon Chu was thrilled to participate in the parade and learned a lot.

Master Cheng Yen once said that when we live under someone else’s sky and walk on someone else’s land, we should establish close interaction with the locals. Tzu Chi volunteers enter Chinatown, getting close to the people through the Lunar New Year float parade to implement deep community involvement. After completing the 2.5-kilometer parade route, Tzu Chi volunteers waved goodbye to the people at the endpoint, but it was not a farewell. We hope the new year is fruitful for Tzu Chi volunteers.

Tzu Chi volunteer Sun Linlin said she was very happy to go out.
Tzu Chi volunteer Linlin Sun expressed her joy in venturing out. Photo/Lily Lin
Tzu Chi volunteers Sun Jiwei (left) and Li Aiping came to Chinatown for the first time to participate in the float parade on behalf of Tzu Chi. They happily took photos with the horse team.
Tzu Chi volunteers Jiwei Sun (left) and Aiping Li represented Tzu Chi for the first time to participate in the float parade in Chinatown, happily taking a photo with the equestrian team. Photo/Liangquan Shi

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