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On Sunday, February 14, the tranquility of my afternoon was interrupted by the sound of drums coming from 47th Street and El Cajon Boulevard.

I followed the sounds of the drums to Minh Hoa Supermarket on El Cajon Boulevard. The parking lot of the Asian market was full of activity. Approximately 20 to 30 men, women, and children surrounded the entrance of the store. Access to the parking lot from El Cajon Boulevard was blocked by orange cones, and two employees stood by to ensure that nobody entered from that direction.

I walked across the street, and there I saw a large, hand-crafted dragon dancing around the entrance of the store. The management at Minh Hoa had decided to kick off Chinese New Year (which began this year on Valentine’s Day) with a couple of people dressed in a dragon costume.

According to tradition, the dragon dance is supposed to give good fortune for the following year. Once the dragon completed its dance — approximately a half hour later — someone lit a series of firecrackers.

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