California Travel Tips

Bok Kai Festival and Parade in Marysville, Calif.

Published on: March 10, 2013


The 133rd annual Bok Kai Parade and Festival in Marysville celebrates the lunar new year and Chinese Year of the Snake with an exciting and colorful event that includes costumes, dragon dancers and cultural exchange. Possibly the oldest continuous parade in California takes to the streets of Marysville, with the hub of surrounding activities happening at the restored, 1888 Bok Kai Temple. The temple sits on the bank of the Yuba River with its main altar facing toward the river. It has been the responsibility of Bok Eye to ward off any evil and protect the community of Marysville and its inhabitants. Bok Eye, the god of the North, is said to be the Chinese god of water whose powers have successfully prevented Marysville from being flooded when all surrounding communities have sustained near-ruinous flooding as recently as 1997. Bok Eye’s powers include overseeing waterways, water systems, irrigation and rain.


Saturday, March 16, 2013,  11am  Parade,  corner of 6th and D Streets,  south down D Street, east on First Street, and back north on C Street, ending at 3rd and C Streets. Vendors will be set up on 2nd Street, between D and B Streets, and will be open starting at 9am. Food trucks, official Bok Kai merchandise, and lots of great items will be for sale. Entertainment takes place on C Street, near the Yuba County Library. Bands, lion dancers, and other performances will take place throughout the afternoon.

Sunday, March 17, 2013, Bomb Day (Yee Yeut Yee),  at the corner of 1st and C Streets includes handmade bombs being lit and young men scrambling to catch the lucky rings. The catching of the rings is open for viewing only; ring catchers are pre-selected through special invitation of the Chinese Community. This unique event is the only one of its kind any where in the Americas and has happened annually since at least 1880.  Other events include Marysville Peach Festival in July.

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