ENTER THE DRAGON: CHINESE NEW YEAR 2012
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 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.
I also visited Kuan Kong Temple to pay homage to Kuang Kong and to observe our Filipino-Chinese brothers and sisters how they pray.
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”.
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.
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!