ENTER THE DRAGON: CHINESE NEW YEAR 2012

Kids doing the Lion Dance

January 23, 2012 marks the start of the Chinese Lunar New Year. Chinese New Year is the most important Chinese holiday, celebrated by billions of people around the world.  Each of the Chinese New Year Calendar is represented by one of twelve animals of the Chinese Zodiac. For 2012, it’s the Dragon.  It is the creature of myth and legend. A symbol of good fortune and power.

I went to Binondo Chinatown last Monday to witness the celebration there.  This is the first time that the Chinese New Year here is a holiday.  I wasn’t surprised with large crowd because I was also there the day before to scout and feel the ambiance of the place.

The crowded Ongpin Street.

The mood is very festive. There are lion and dragon dance moving to the beat of the drums,  people dancing with Ati-atihan, the restaurants and food establishments are jam-packed.

Dragon Dance and firecrackers
beating the drums and cymbals

I also visited Kuan Kong Temple to pay homage to Kuang Kong and to observe our Filipino-Chinese brothers and sisters how they pray.

Scene inside the temple
Incense burning is an ancient religious ritual.

There are also a lot of photographers in the area. I saw different types of camera DSLR, SLR, Rangefinders, Lomo, Micro 4/3, Point & Shoot even tablets and cellphones. There is a joke that day  “Mas marami pa ang photographers kesa sa mga Intsik”.

A girl taking a picture of the Lion’ head using her cellphone.

The streets are also filled with vendors of lucky charms. I really wanted to buy the dragon puppet (see photo below) but I don’t know where to place it in my room. I also read somewhere that 2012 is not a good year for Dog people since Dog and Dragon have a fighting relationship.

Chinese man selling a dragon puppet.
Lucky charms for sale

I admit that I am not into festivals  but this one is an exception. I can’t explain why but I am really fascinated with the Chinese cultures and traditions.

Happy Chinese New Year Everyone!

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5 responses

  1. I love the way you captured the photos and it speaks well in itself. I had been to Ongpin during the time I went to my barkada’s house in Juan Luna in Binondo and the New Year there is a blast. Love to see those kids doing the dragon dance.

    January 25, 2012 at 3:05 pm

  2. @journeys and travel – thanks for the comment 🙂 i suggest you visit chinatown next chinese new year 🙂

    January 25, 2012 at 4:47 pm

  3. Nice yung dragon dance lalo na nung mga bata. Andun pala kayo, sayang di tayo nagkita, we were there with BP friends 😀 Kung Hei Fat Choy!

    January 25, 2012 at 9:45 pm

  4. @oggie – kaaliw nga yung mga bata 😀 text ko sana kayo kaso hiya ako sa bisita nyo 😀 happy chinese new year din!

    January 25, 2012 at 10:04 pm

  5. Happy dragon year to all !!

    February 12, 2012 at 9:40 am

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