Firecrackers and Fireworks
About two millennia ago, there is a story about a Chinese monk who mashed up bamboo and gunpowder then launched it into a fire, thus inventing fireworks. It just wouldn’t be the same without pyrotechnics. New Year’s firecrackers are made from strings of rolled red paper containing gunpowder that, when set off, leave shreds of scarlet paper in their wake. Traditionally, this loud noise set off by firecrackers serves to scare away evil spirits – nowadays firecrackers are banned in many cities for safety reasons. Most major cities will still put on a fireworks display around midnight to welcome in the New Year.
Lion and Dragon Dances
The Crown Complex comes alive with this colourful traditional dance. Dragon dances are performed by a troupe of acrobatic dancers, while lion dancers are usually performed by two dancers. The lion and dragon dance is normally performed outdoors, sometimes are a street parade, to the accompaniment of drums and cymbals. It’s thought that these dances will bring good luck and prosperity, as well as a means to chase away evil spirits. You may notice that in some dances, during the event, dancers feed the lion with lettuce, because the Chinese word for 'lettuce' sounds similar to the word for 'wealth'. The lion will eat the 'wealth' and spit it back out to the owners or the audience to give them prosperity.
The lion symbolises strength, stability and superiority, and the dragon represents power, boldness and excellence.
Check out the lion and dragon performances happening around Crown this Lunar New Year.