A Chinese dragon adorns a bronze lock on iron gates painted red in San Francisco's Chinatown.
A 1920s decorative building in Chinatown.
Red lanterns are strung between buildings and across streets in Chinatown.
Three flags fly at the top of this building and a bird flies nearby.
Red lanterns and a banner strung across Grant Street.
Even the street lights in San Francisco's Chinatown resemble lanterns.
Strings of lanterns extend the length of the building housing the Peking Bazaar.
Lanterns adorn this building on a side street.
I wonder if this monastery's placement over a bank is considered lucky.
These lanterns incorporate the lotus flower. Chinese botanists once believed that the lotus flowered and bore fruit at the same time, symbolizing the ability to transcend time. The lotus remains a popular symbol in Chinese folk custom. Pictures showing fat dancing babies holding lotus leaves or flowers are purchased in the hope that several boys will be born in succession (the Chinese word for lotus sounds the same as a word meaning "one after another"). Since lotus leaves in pond water protect the goldfish under them, the lotus also symbolizes abundance.
P.S. Was disturbed to read this story. In George Bush's America, teachers need to carry guns in schools? That opens up so many possible scenarios - none of them good - that the mind boggles.