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Sat 16 Feb 2013, 11:00am–12:00pm

Where: Mirrabooka Square Shopping Centre, 43 Yirrigan Dve, Mirrabooka, Dianella, Western Australia

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free
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Listed by: sasha3

Mirrabooka Square will come alive with a traditional Chinese Lion Dance and Kung Fu Demonstration to celebrate Chinese New Year on Saturday February 16th at 11am Centre Court.

Chinese New Year is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays, and it is also known as the "Spring Festival" or the "Lunar New Year.”

Chinese New Year celebrations traditionally ran from Chinese New Year's Day itself, the first day of the first month of the Chinese Calendar, to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first month.
The origin of Chinese New Year is itself centuries old and is celebrated in China and in countries and territories with significant Chinese populations, as well as in Chinatowns elsewhere.
Within China, customs include people spending a lot of money to buy presents, decorations, material, food, and clothing. It is traditional for every family to thoroughly cleanse the house, in order to sweep away any ill-fortune and to make way for good incoming luck. Windows and doors will be decorated with red colour paper-cuts and couplets with popular themes of "good fortune" or "happiness", "wealth", and "longevity."

On the Eve of Chinese New Year, supper is a feast with families. Food will include such items as pigs, ducks, chicken and sweet delicacies. The family will end the night with firecrackers. Early the next morning, children will greet their parents by wishing them a healthy and happy new year, and receive money in red paper envelopes. The Chinese New Year tradition is to reconcile, forget all grudges and sincerely wish peace and happiness for everyone.

During the Chinese New Year, lion dancer troupes will visit the houses and shops of the Chinese community to perform the traditional dance. The Lion Dance is performed accompanied by the music of beating of drums, cymbals, and gongs, with instruments synchronising to the lion dance movements and actions.

Basic lion dance fundamental movements can be found in most Chinese martial arts. The Chinese New Year traditional dance is called “Cai Ching” (literally "plucking the greens") and involves a quest by the lion to pluck the green, normally vegetables like lettuce, tied to a red envelope containing money. The green is hung high or just put on a table in front of the premises. The lion will dance and approach the green and red envelope like a curious cat, eating the green and spitting it out, sometimes leaving it in a special arrangement like an auspicious character – and keeping the red envelope. The lion dance is believed to bring good luck and fortune to the business and the troupe is rewarded with the red envelope of money.

In the old days, the lettuce was hung 15 to 20 feet above ground and only a well-trained martial artist could reach the money while dancing with a heavy lion head. These events became a public challenge. A large sum of money was rewarded, and the audience expected a good show. Sometimes, if lions from multiple martial arts schools approached the lettuce at the same time, the lions are supposed to fight to decide a winner. The lions had to fight with stylistic lion moves instead of chaotic street fighting styles. The audience would judge the quality of the martial art schools according to how the lions fought.

Nowadays, performances to attain the red envelope are not as rigorous but lion dance troupes still have the onus of making a good show or face the consequence of an unhappy client!

Come and see in the Chinese New Year with the spectacle of a traditional Lion Dance at Your Square. Visit Mirrabooka Square Shopping Centre, 43 Yirrigan Drive, Mirrabooka at 11am on Saturday February 16, 2013.