Civic Center Plaza to mark Chinese New Year with bamboo lanterns

Six large bamboo lanterns will be lit Monday in San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza in an event marking the Chinese New Year and honoring the experience of Chinese immigrants who settled on the West Coast.

The lanterns, designed by Hong Kong artist Freeman Lau, are part of an art installation called Sui Sui Ping An, or Peace All Year Round.

The 16- to 20-foot lantern sculptures, adorned with bright colors and the names of early Chinese migrants, are shaped like vases because the sound of the word “vase” is similar to the sound of “safe and peaceful” in Chinese, according to event organizers.

The sculptures, which will be on view until March 10, will be lit in a ceremony at 4:30 p.m. to mark both the Chinese New Year and the 20th anniversary of the Chinese takeover of Hong Kong from the British.

A smaller, 6-foot sculpture will also be on view at the nearby Asian Art Museum.