Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Kung Hei Fat Choi

The Chinese New Year of the Dragon started on Monday 23 January with celebrations throughout the large Chinese community in the Toronto area. I went to Pacific Mall to take in some of the local culture.

Pacific Mall is huge, I mean really huge. And there are over 500 individually owned stores selling anything and everything. Cell phones, computer parts, clothing, shoes, Chinese medicine, Chinese DVDs, jewellery.... you name it, it's for sale. (Most of the time legal, sometimes not so legal, as in the case of pirated movies for sale. Just ask the local RCMP.)

 
 
 
 
 Lots of places to get Asian food and drink. And lots of Chinese families enjoying lunch in the second level food area.

 But I didn't go there to shop or to eat. I wanted to see the New Year celebrations. The stage was set with a large golden dragon hovering above it.
After some Chinese pop songs that everyone but me knew, and some encouraging words from local dignitaries and government representatives, the show began with Chinese drumming.
And then, the stars of the show, the Lion Dance, accompanied by loud drumming and clashing of cymbals to frighten away any evil spirits that might be lurking.
The lions danced to the rhythm of the drums, eventually being fed lettuce leaves symbolising good luck and a new start to the New Year. Hidden in the lettuce is the red "Lucky money" envelope. The lettuce was scattered among the crowd for good luck, and then the God of Good Fortune arrived to give out more red envelopes. That's when I left.... I just didn't want to be caught in the crush.

People born in the Year of the Dragon are said to be confident, hardworking and always strive to be at the top. They are full of energy, determined and will inspire other people, dislike routine and are excited by new projects. They show loyalty to friends, and are popular and fun-loving.

Are you a Dragon? Not me, I'm a Rooster. Kung hei fat choi!

13 comments:

JohnD said...

Not much Chines New Year in our small rural town - more important to us is that tomorrow is Australia Day!

Anns Art said...

That looked oh so colourful, must have been lovely to see - don't know the chinese year I was born in, it was l952, [answers please on a post card] lol:)

Hilary said...

Pacific Mall is an interesting place. We spent a few hours there this past summer. And the food was quite yummy. Cool that you saw the show. I was born in the year of the goat. No kidding. ;)

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Fantastic! How great to see all these pictures, my dear...And to read about "The Celebration".....
I don't know what I am...but I don't think it is 'Dragon'....I'll have to look that one up and let you know.
Thanks so much for sharimg this wonderful Celebration!!!

dogbait said...

Do the Chinese have a Year of the Dog?

madretz said...

I bet it was quite a show, I love the lions! See, if you came to SF then you'll be totally comfy in our Chinatown! And I promise I'll take you over that Golden Gate Bridge, too. No need to just experience it in my video, you'll experience it live and in person! Please know you are always welcome to come for a visit!!
I was born in the year of the Monkey.

Suldog said...

I'm a rooster, also, although it is sometimes given as "cock", depending upon the source, and my natural bent towards salaciousness always preferred that terminology :-)

Libby said...

What fantastic colours, I wish we had somewhere like this to go and watch this event.

The Next Chapter said...

Sounds like a fun day out - thanks for sharing.

laurie said...

wow. this is SO COOL. i would have loved that. I believe i'm year of the Monkey, which makes sense.

Pondside said...

I'm a Dragon - not a bad sign, but very odd when paired with my other sign - Taurus, the Bull.
This weekend there will be a large parade in our downtown and there are already lettuces hanging from store fronts for the Dragon to eat.

Dave said...

These are wonderfully colourful photos Shammikite. Happy Chinese New Year to you too - Dave

stardust said...

Happy Chinese New Year! My son is a Dragon and I am a Rabbit. Seeing from your Chinese Zodiac sigh, Rooster, your age must be 54 or 66. Right? Chinese things are so colorful, while Japanese things are muted colors. You captured the brilliance nicely.

Yoko