Thousands crowded onto sidewalks around Union Square and Chinatown Saturday to watch the annual Chinese New Year Parade, ringing in the Year of the Pig.

The start of the lunar new year was actually a few weeks back, but the parade traditionally happens on a Saturday, shortly thereafter. This was the 161st outing for the parade, which has its roots with San Francisco's earliest Chinese immigrants in the 1860s.

With "lots of pigs and piglets in sight," as CBS SF reports, the parade kicked off at 2nd and Market and proceeded on its usual 1.3-mile route.

As always, as the Chronicle reports, the centerpiece of the parade was the 288-foot-long dragon, that requires a huge team of volunteers to operate.

Below, some photos and video from the festivities.