Happy Chinese New Year!

The Lunar  /  Chinese New Year coincided with Valentine’s Day this year.

And because my husband is, above all things, Chinese – no Valentine’s date. *sad face*

But we did celebrate the Chinese New Year the traditional way. New Year’s eve was spent by husband in prayer and offering at the Buddhist temple. The next morning, we went to the Father-in-law for the customary visit, and to pai-pai (offer incense).

Then we had family lunch at a Chinese restaurant. (Eating is always the highlight, hehe)

I wanted to go to Binondo for the real stuff, but husband was not brave enough. So we ended up at the closest real thing –  Banawe Street. Banawe is not just the place for car accessories and car repairs. It’s also the place to go to for authentic Chinese food.

Eating places get pretty crowded there during weekends and most especially during holidays such as the Chinese New Year.

Update, January 4, 2016: In recent years, Banawe Street has been upgraded to become the Chinatown of Quezon City.

We were not expecting to get a table but we pushed our luck at Mandarin Sky Seafood and Shabu Shabu Restaurant – a newly opened restaurant at what used to be Wah Yuen.

Well, if it’s a preview of lucky things to come, then I’m excited for this Year of the Tiger!

Not only did we get a table, but there was also a Dragon Dance and a Lion Dance at Mandarin Sky when we got there. It was a nice treat for the kids (though at first, Nate was crying and clinging to me, deathly scared of the lions and the noise.)
Happy Chinese New Year dragon dance

The red lion lion symbolizes courage, while the green lion friendship.

Accompanied with drums, gongs and cymbals, the Lion Dance is traditionally performed during special Chinese occasions to drive away bad spirits and attract good luck. There are two styles –  the Northern and the Southern. The style performed in the Philippines is of the Southern one, because our descendants have their roots in the southern province of Fujian (Hokkien/Fookien).

The Lion Dance is often confused with the Dragon Dance (below, upper left, and bottom right). Both are performed during Chinese celebrations. During the Chinese New Year, groups of performers go around business establishments to entertain and show off their acrobatic talents. An ang pao (red envelop) hanging by the entrance is their reward.

Here’s a video of the lion dance. To all friends and readers – Gong Xi Fa Cai! May this Year of the Tiger bring us all good things for the body, mind, and spirit.

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