January 23, 2012 marks the beginning of the Year of the Water Dragon. Here in the Philippines, the Lunar New Year was recently declared as a non-working holiday. Yet prior to the declaration, Filipinos and Chinese alike have been celebrating the event by going to Chinatowns in Metro Manila and other areas or eating Chinese food in a restaurant or at home. Some traditions practiced here are giving ti kueh (sticky rice cake), money in ang paos (red envelopes) and purchasing or having lucky charms blessed. Others also consult feng shui experts or literature and read Chinese horoscopes to know what’s ahead for them for the year. Fireworks cap off Lunar Year Celebrations.
Many establishments such as Eastwood in Quezon City have events lined up to celebrate coming of the Lunar New Year. I was able to attend one of the events – the Lion and Dragon Dance at the Eastwood Mall Fountain Area – today with my parents and siblings. After their main performance, the “lions” went on parade around the mall to share joy and prosperity to mall-goers. We had fun as we followed them around and photos taken with them. It was a new and very fun experience for all of us – something that we’ll definitely want to do again!
May your celebration of the Year of the Water Dragon be a happy one! Kiong Hee Huat Tsai!