Saturday, February 23, 2013

Year of the Snake Chinatown Parade

Last week was the Year of the Snake Chinese New Year parade in Chinatown and I was among the crowds watching. The parade was well over two hours long, with lots of music, dancing and my favorite - lion dancing! 

Year of the Snake!
So fierce!
My favourite lion - the purple and silver combo is so pretty!
After the parade, the lion dancing continued on on Pender St for the businesses. Shops will hang a head of lettuce in their storefront doorway, sometimes with a lucky red pocket attached, and a lion will dance in front of their store, and "eat" the lettuce. The lion then throws the lettuce back out of their mouth towards the store, and this will bring them good luck and good business for the year. The word lettuce in Cantonese sounds very similar to "live/thriving + money", which is why this happens. It's definitely a lot of fun to watch and follow the lion dancing down the streets.

The lion eating the lettuce.
More lion dancing on the street.
Because the lettuce is hung very high up in front of the shops, the lion dancers have to get on each other's shoulders to reach.

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