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.
Time sure flies! It appears the last time I took pictures of the traditional eye-dotting ceremony at Chung Ching Middle School was in 2008 and I can’t recall the reasons for missing 2009 & 2010. This year, the lion awakening story continues with attention to finer moments more than just lions strutting their stuff! The lions are a big hit with the kids who couldn’t keep their hands off the lions. All images shot using EOS 5D Mark II and 50mm f/1.4.
… the lion danced for the last time this year! Like bees to honey, the kids at Chung Ching primary school in Seria got all buzzed up this last day of the Chinese New Year celebration. The lions performed in one classroom after another to the echoes of the drum downstairs.
As soon as the lion made it downstairs, kids swamped to touch the lions head grabbing everything they can. I remember how certains bits would come off the lion’s head during a performance that kids would fight to get them afterwards. Interestingly, a passer-by whom I’d noticed standing among the crowd began tossing candies in the air much to the delight of the kids who was for a moment distracted by this improptu display of generousity.
Mandarin oranges, a popular choice of diversion leading up to the centrepiece where traditionally more mandarins and pamello are used. This is where the lion performer demonstrates his skill in carving the fruit into an ornamental display!
This isn’t the last of the lion dance performances for the year. I am aware of two other events that are still celebrating Chinese New Year with promise of more lion dances, one being this Sunday at the Brunei Shell Recreation Club which starts 7pm and another on the 27th, the HSBC SPRING DINNER!