AWAKENING THE LION 3

When my kids returned from school with a note inviting parents to the Chung Ching Middle School Lion ‘Eye Opening Ceremony’ my knee jerk reaction was to leave my camera at home (this time). The days leading up to the event had been a tiring week so naturally the thought of lugging a DSLR wasn’t all that exciting. However, no matter how much I resisted, I know there are few things at this event that I find particularly interesting — the attention to details that people would not normally have paid much attention to. Having done this twice prior, the element of fire has been the one thing that piqued my interest. If you have seen pictures from last year’s set you would be hard pressed to find much difference between the two occasions.

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It all begins with a click of a disposable gas lighter that lights up three large incense sticks.

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This is my favourite "Flame" moment.

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A member of the lion dance troupe wraps the new lion's eyes with red paper before commencement.

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A close look at the colourful decorations on the lion's head.

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Sprinkling blessed water onto the new lions including the drum (below) and other instruments.

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The founder of Soi Heng Coffee Shop (left) dotting the eye to awaken the new lion.

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When photographers cross path ... click on image to see her reaction in the next frame.

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The lions pay respect to the school Principal, Chairman and Board of Directors.

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A view of the spectators and the packed hall an example of the popularity of lion dance performance.

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The "Laughing Buddha" teases the lion much to the excitement of the spectators.

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A "laughing Buddha" shakes the hand of CCMS School Principal

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Dance troupe carrying the finished craft (a Dragon) by the skilfull performers for the appreciation of the school principal and Board of Directors.

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Skilfully crafted Dragon made from fruits and vegetables to usher in the Year of the Dragon

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MAJESTIC LUNAR NEW YEAR CELEBRATION

There’s one common element in a Lunar New Year celebration and that’s colours, in particularly, red – lots of red, the  color that Chinese associate with Good Luck and Success. Synonymous with this auspicious color are firecrackers believed by some “to scare off evil spirits and attract the god of wealth to people’s doorsteps.”

The photo gallery starts with a view of a long string of firecrackers against a dramatic sky followed by a series of lion dance performance on the first day of CNY at a friend’s residence. I’ve combined the gallery to include images from International Convention Centre where the Chinese Community celebrates 3rd day of Chinese New Year with His Majesty, the Sultan of Brunei and members of the Royal household. Click to view Gallery and Group Photo.