Sunday, 6 February 2011
Chinese new year in Deptford
No need to go up to Chinatown to experience the fun of Chinese new year celebrations - Deptford High Street is a great place to see the traditional lion dance performed by a local Vietnamese dance troop.
The lion is believed to bring good luck to the shops and businesses it enters; owners hang fruit or vegetables (traditionally greens such as lettuce - the Chinese word for lettuce is very similar to the word for fortune) above the door with a red envelope attached containing money. The lion approaches and performs the act of 'plucking the greens' then spits out the leaves (hopefully) into the shape of an auspicious character while hanging on to the red envelope which is a gift for the dance troupe.
We caught up with them on Saturday afternoon in front of the White Swan; the drums and cymbals which accompany the dance make it an almost hypnotic experience. The troop still had quite a few other businesses to visit - however they seem to have anticipated a busy day and had a pair of spare legs for the lion on hand.