This is 4707, the year of the tiger, if you celebrate Chinese New Years. My Tai Chi teacher, Sat Hon whom I’ve practiced with over the past 10 years at the Daotist Center in Manhattan calls this holiday the Asian New Year. His reasoning is that every Asian cultural has some form of celebration to usher in the year.
I love celebrating festive occasions that have a celebratory feeling, so for me Chinese New Years is one of those joyous moments. Sat Hon’s students gather for a communal festive celebration, with music, Chinese poetry, meditation, eating and a performance of the lion dance. Suited up, his two daughters and one male student performs a gyrating dance with a figurative style Chinese lion head costume. The long sinuous body looks like a giant caterpillar its curving body snakes above the floor. The lion costumes head, bobs up and down, or suddenly twists from side to side its eyes fluttering in sync with the music’s drumbeats. Despite the lion’s grotesque features and menacing fangs the sinewy body slows down to reveal itself as a soft focus Chinese shadow puppet. Then the drumming beats picks up speed and beats faster and faster the body shakes, shimmies and then the head drops.
A loud applause erupts, his daughters and the other student emerge from under the costume. Sat hugs his daughters.
We all shout Kung Hei Fat Choi (best wishes for Health, Happiness & Prosperity to all.)
Now its time to get down to eating and mingling with friends.