Monday, February 3, 2014

Of dragons and lions

Mr Rosanna and I braved the heat and the crowds on Sunday and took the boys on their first ever trip to Chinese New Year.  While they have been to Chinatown before for yum cha, this was a truly exciting event!  With kids, these things are planned like a military operation so we knew the nearby undercover car park we were going to drive into from Lonsdale Street before we hot footed it down a very narrow alley from Lonsdale Street to Little Bourke Street.

Before we even got into my uncle's restaurant Golden Orchids (named after my aunt who has sadly passed away), we were assailed by the sight and sound of dragons and lions parading down Little Bourke Street accompanied by the man with the fan, firecrackers and drummers accompanying the parade from the Chinese Youth Society of Melbourne (CYSM) which was founded in 1968 and of which two of my cousins are members.  Wow!  I'd forgotten how exciting it is seeing it for the first time, which is what happens when you have kids, you get to experience your whole childhood all over again (hopefully the good parts).

We ran into some kinder friends and then off we went indoors into air conditioning to have lunch.  But it wasn't long until the first lion of the day came to the door and we got the chance to get up close and personal with him as he pranced and danced and ate the cabbage (and took the money in the little red packets!).  My boys got so close they got to touch the lion and were also blessed by the man with the fan scaring away all the evil spirits.  They had a great time - as did Mr R and I.

We watched one final dragon twist and turn before we took our chance to leave before the boys got too hot and bothered.  I did love the big Buddhist shrine that was also set up off the street where people were paying their respects to Buddha and making wishes for the new year.  The Year of the Horse has begun...

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