The Dragon and the Lion

Chinese New Year finished over two weeks ago but memories of elaborate celebrations still linger.  During the holiday we saw some agile traditional dancers sporting fantastic costumes. Andy took some beautiful photos that I would like to share.

The first performance we saw was a dragon dance in front of the Forum Shopping mall on Orchard Road.  In this dance, a team of people carried the representation of a colorful beast on poles.  The men moved in a fluid, undulating manner to the beat of drums.  The dragon was constantly pursuing a ball which may represent the chase for wealth or wisdom.

The dragon was given a gift of oranges and a flurry of confetti was released at the completion of the animals run.

After the dragon finished, it was the lion’s turn to run.  The Lion Dance has been part of Chinese culture for over a thousand years.  This tradition is preformed with a pair of dancers in one costume.  The men inside are trained acrobats who replicate the motions of a single animal.

Children look on at a celebration in our apartment lobby

Sometimes one performer will stand on top of another.  The ceremony starts when the dancers try to reach some  hanging lettuce which has a “hongbao” (red envelope) filled with money to bring forth prosperity and good fortune in the next year.

The 'Lions' are holding these elaborate signs.

At our apartment lobby two creatures were accompanied by a ‘big headed buddha’ who herded them around the spectators.

The lions eat oranges and candies and shower the gifts back at the spectators.  The children loved getting treats from the lions mouths.

We all very much enjoyed our close encounters with these fantastic elaborate creatures.

The Dragon Roars

A Dragon has roared into Singapore. Its fiery breath has spread red and gold beautifully throughout the streets of Singapore.  Chinese New Year which is the most important traditional Chinese holiday began on January 23rd and does not finish until February 9th.  This marks the beginning of the Year of the Dragon which is considered to be very auspicious.  Good things seem to be about to happen everywhere.

A Flower Dragon on Orchard Road

This post has been intimidating to write.  Chinese New Year is such a beautiful and intricate celebration that I feel I can never do it justice.  I will try to communicate a small portion of the beauty we have seen throughout the streets and in lobbies of hotels and builds everywhere.

Two Enormous Dragons With Mandarin Orange Tree at the Sands Hotel and Casino

Dragons like the one above often have balls in their mouths.  This may represent the sun, moon, egg or pearl and is considered very lucky.  The orange also has a prominence in Chinese New Year celebrations and they are given as gifts and eaten at dinners.

Chinatown is of course particularly beautiful.

Temple Wall Decoration

Chinese New Year is a spring celebration and there are many plum tree blossoms and pussy willows.

The markets are filled with red tassels that are to be hung over the door to bring good fortune and hongbao (red envelopes) filled with money that are given out during celebrations.

Beautiful Dragon Puppets

As a proud mother,  I need to include one photo of two other “dragons” that roared into Singapore one month ago now.

We are truly enjoying our Asian adventure.