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It's 4709 and the Year of the Rabbit. Now What?

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Photo by Bob Kent via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
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The Chinese community in Los Angeles is preparing the usher in the Year of the Rabbit tomorrow, and the festivities begin tonight and carry on for several days.

One of the largest Chinese Lunar New Year gatherings will be held tonight in Chinatown with a midnight ceremony at the Chuan Thien Hau (Cam Au) Temple. From 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. people will gather to make offerings to the deities, set off firecrackers to awaken the spirits, and burn incense to usher in good fortune for the new year. Participants includes lion dancers, Buddhist and Taoist monks, the heads of family associations, and many others.

The biggest celebrations, however, will be this weekend, for the two-day Chinese New Year festival and parade, both of which are beloved local traditions hosted by Chinatown. For the Festival, both the Central and West plazas will be abuzz with activities, including food trucks, live entertainment, arts and crafts, the LA Craft Experience, and more. At 1 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, be one of the many people lining the streets of Chinatown to watch the 12th annual Golden Dragon parade.

Although the Lunar New Year is the most widely celebrated holiday for the Chinese, there are many opportunities for Angelenos to enjoy the occasion. Magnolia Bakery will have special Year of the Rabbit cupcakes tomorrow (February 3) only, which are their classic vanilla and chocolate cupcakes with red and gold decorations ($2.75 each).

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If you've been looking for an excuse to try Wolfgang Puck's high-end contemporary Chinese food at WP24, he, along with Chef Lee Hefter and new Chef de Cuisine Sara Johannes, has created a special Chinese New Year feast at WP24. Available for 15 days, from February 3-18, for $150 per person, the seven-course tasting menu features the Five Blessings of the New Year - a sampling of dishes such as Clam Sycee, Winter Pumpkin and King Crab “Hot and Sour” Soup, Whole Sea Bass Baked in a Fragrant Salt Crust and Whole Cantonese Style Roast Duck - each symbolizing a blessing bestowed, from luck to long life to prosperity.

Of course, you can always just head to your favorite Chinese restaurant and chow down on some chow mein, too.

Are you a rabbit? Or will your newborn be? Lucky for you:

People born in the Year of the Rabbit are articulate, talented, and ambitious. They are virtuous, reserved, and have excellent taste. Rabbit people are admired, trusted, and are often financially lucky. They are fond of gossip but are tactful and generally kind. Rabbit people seldom lose their temper. They are clever at business and being conscientious, never back out of a contract. They would make good gamblers for they have the uncanny gift of choosing the right thing. However, they seldom gamble, as they are conservative and wise.

Any way you celebrate it, may you have a prosperous and healthy 4709. Gung Hay Fat Choy!