photos and stories from the Powerhouse Museum
During Chinese New Year lion dancer troupes visit the houses and shops of the Chinese community to perform the traditional custom of “cai ching”, or “plucking the greeens”. The lion plucks auspicious green vegetables like lettuce and fruit such as oranges tied to a red envelope containing money which is either hung or placed near the entrance to the premises. The lion dance is believed to bring good luck and fortune to the business and the troupe.
The Lion Dance is also performed on other occasions. The lion above was photographed during the opening celebrations for The Great Wall of China exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum in 2006.
Today marks the start of the Chinese New Year Festival in Sydney. According to the Chinese calendar, 2013 is the Year of the Water Snake. People born in the years of the Water Snake are, according to Chinese astrology, influential and insightful, and more flexible than other Snakes. They manage others well and are very determined. They are affectionate with their family and friends, but do not show this side of their personality to colleagues or business partners.
For more information on Chinese New Year celebrations in Sydney, see the City of Sydney website.
Happy Chinese New Year, (Kung Hei Fat Choy)!
Photography by Sotha Bourn
© All rights reserved