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2016年2月16日 星期二

Chinese New Year Vitality (農曆新年的活力)

Chinese New Year is a time for joy.


for public celebration.


 
Of expectancy. Of hope.


and for recollection



The long string of firecrackers is ready.

The Dragon is coming.



to confer its gold upon the tribal pond.

turning the corner now



time to set off the fire crackers



Led by the pearl, to the entrance to the ancestral hall of the Wong clan



paying respect to the little welcoming altar with joss sticks and candles in front of the pond of the Wong clan



sprinkling it golden vitality for the blessing of the host clan


turning back to the entrance its ancestral hall


it made three bows



followed by the golden lion



It too made its three bows of respect




In the meantime, the dragon got out of the way of the lion



The lion is readying itself for the third bow



The dragon is preparing to make its entrance


but first, it must bless the pillar supporting the ancestral hall



after which it prepares to enter



the dragon dancers is bit nervous that it doesn't make any mistake



The dragon is curling up now



The lion follows close behind



It awaits it turn whilst the dragon is making a round of the front hall of the ancestral tablets

standing at the threshold of the ancestral hall


starting to move in


The lion is ready to swing into action once the dragon is done



The dragon is making its round



its head raised, it mouth wide open



it looks about



It faces the huge crowd gathered in the outer hall
 
Having paid its respects to the Wong's ancestors, it is ready for the exit


The elders of the Wong clan lit the joss stick



One joss stick for each of the three branches of the Wong clan



the offering to their ancestors




The last of the three joss sticks are now in place



All stood in front of the ancestral tablet to pay their respect, bowing to their ancestors one after the other



It is now the lion's turn to enter the ancestral hall



The dragon having paid its respect inside is now out again



it takes a break



another string of firecrackers is set alight as thanks for the blessings of the dragon


banging away



the fire crackers fly off and explode in the air



leaving behind thick clouds of smoke



everything is now hidden



But the firecrackers are not done yet


still spitting out its fire and noise


nearly done now

The noises seem too overpowering



The whole string of firecrackers has exploded, leaving behind a smouldering red carpet


the dragon bestirs itself , encouraged by the lion and the pearl



The lion leads the way



It's making another round of the court in front of the ancestral hall



thanking the Wongs for its welcome



and moves around the last time to bless the crowd

its head raised high



how fierce it looks




The guide of the dragon vigorously twirls his golden pearl


The dragon follows


swaying its head from one side to another



jumping up



running forward


turning around



first one way, then another



ducking into the folds of its ts own body



which is itself twisting and turning in rapid motions


it looks at the entrance of the ancestral hall of the Wong clan again



gasping for air with an open mouth

its body starts to twist and turn again as it gathers strength for its departure



it looks for guideance from the twirling pearl



having got the signal, it moves away



in the opposite direction from that of its initial entry


it looks at the ancestral hall of the Wong clan for the last time

 and moves away

it dances its way around the pond

Now it's the turn of two lions to pay respect to the Wong clan and confer its blessings, a male and and female lion



They face the entrance of the ancestral hall of the Wong clan



To the rhythm of the drummer


They turn their faces this way and that



sometimes in synchronized motion



sometimes not



sometimes they raise their heads



sometimes they duck them down

it's the turn of the red lion to raise its head whilst the yellow ducks its



they bow to the ancestral hall for the last time



then face each other




They raise their heads to greet each other

the red lion bows to the yellow




the yellow lion returns the compliment

they dance against each other



they tease one another



they jump for joy



they circle the public space in front of the ancestral hall


jumping up and down


the yellow lion follows the red



they raise their head to the crowd


tease one another


The red lion beckons the yellow lion




they twist and turn, enjoying their caresses and the yellow lion mounts the red


The red lion licks the back of the yellow lion

then they did what they had to do to have another generation



then they separated


they danced for joy around the front of the square


they gave thanks to the Wong clan for giving them the space to play


like the dragon, they made three bows


they lowered their heads


raised them


and lowered them three times and when they're done, they left for another village