No one celebrates New Year quite like Chinese. The colour, the noise – and traditional rituals such as lion and dragon dances.
I’m British-born but of Malaysian-Chinese origin, so introducing our children to customs from this side of our family is important to us. So at Chinese New Year we always meet up with my family for lunch in London and take in one of the lion dances that is performed around Chinatown.
These are traditionally performed by martial artists wearing garish costumes. They visit local restaurants and businesses, where offerings of green vegetables and red envelopes containing money are laid out for them, either in front of the premises or hung out of a window. It’s supposed to bring good fortune.
Accompanied by a thumping drum-beat, it’s a highly sensory ritual that captivates and fascinates the kids – the perfect thing to get them interested in this aspect of their cultural heritage.