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Jewels Fiji hosts Chinese New Year Pre-celebration event

The preparation for the Chinese New Year by the Chinese community is well underway around the country. On Wednesday night, the Jewels Fiji store in Downtown Nadi came to a
09 Feb 2018 11:00
Jewels Fiji hosts Chinese New Year Pre-celebration event
Public witnessed the Lion Dance at the Jewels Fiji store in Nadi on February 7, 2018. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

The preparation for the Chinese New Year by the Chinese community is well underway around the country.

On Wednesday night, the Jewels Fiji store in Downtown Nadi came to a standstill as the Chinese Cultural and Sports Association of Fiji took on a grand performance to mark the pre-celebration event.

Nadi co-ordinator for the Chinese New Year celebration, Gemma Kong said this year marks the Year of the Dog.

She said the the Chinese New Year will be celebrated on February 16, the Chinese 12-year animal zodiac cycle.

“Chinese New Year, also known as the “Spring Festival” in modern Mainland China, is China’s most important traditional festival, celebrated at the turn of the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar, which consists of both Gregorian and lunar-solar calendar systems.”

Jewels Fiji chief executive and Founder Romil Patel have been hosting the group at his shop for his clients for the last six years.

He said: “It is very important for us Fijians as this is an opportunity in the year where the significance to the Chinese community also binds us to celebrate with them in coming days”.

“We are here to celebrate the beautiful diversity of our country. They might see themselves very far from their home in China but we are together.”

Tui Jennings, a student of Swami Vivekananda College (SVC) was proud to be associated with the Lion Dance.

He said: “I feel proud and it is important to me, regarding my Chinese background since my mother is Chinese. This is my tradition, and custom which I keep close to my heart.”

According to Wikipedia, the Dog is one of the 12-year cycles of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar.

The Year of the Dog is associated with the Earthly Branch symbol. The character refers to the actual animal while refers to the zodiac animal.

The Lion Dance is a pugilistic performance dating back to more than 1,500 years.

Its performance during auspicious occasions, such as the launch of new businesses and shops, is believed to bring good fortune and wealth.

The lion dance is also performed during the Chinese New Year (CNY) because of its association with the legends of Nian, a bestial creature that was frightened off by villagers loudly banging on drums on the eve of CNY.

The Lion Costume

Lion dances are performed by two “dancers” in a lion costume, rather like a pantomime horse.

The performers become the body of the lion: the one in front is the head and front limbs, the one behind are the back and hind legs.

Performers’ legs are dressed the same colour as the lion’s body, and sometimes the costume extends to shoes the shape and colour of the lion’s paws.

The lion head is usually over-sized and dragon-like, like many stone lions in China.

Styles of Lion Dance

Though lion dances all use similar costumes, during its long development, the lion dance has divided into two styles: southern and northern.

Edited by Mohammed Zulfikar

Feedback: waisean@fijisun.com.fj

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