(ILCE = Interchangeable Lens Camera with E-mount)
Pronounced ‘Shin nee-an kwai le’ and according to Google is Mandarin for ‘Happy New Year’. ‘Gong hei fat choy’ is Cantonese for ‘Wishing you great happiness and prosperity’ before anyone asks.
The start of Chinese New Year fell on Friday 16th March this year and lasts for 15 days and this year it is the year of the Dog. In London official celebrations take place in Trafalgar Square on Sunday 18th March but on Saturday 17th March, there was plenty of entertainment going on in London Chinatown to keep the tourists entertained.
I came across three troupes of dancing Chinese Lions with their handlers and musicians visiting various shops and restaurants in Chinatown. The dance is believed to bring good luck and fortune to a business and they were performing the traditional custom of 'Plucking the Greens' which is where the lion plucks a green vegetable like lettuce either hung on a pole or placed on a table or chair in front of the premises. Along with the lettuce is a red envelope containing money and the Lion will dance and approach the offering like a curious cat and then eat it and spit out the lettuce but keep the envelope with the money in it which is the reward for the lion troupe for the good luck and fortune the dance will bring to the business in the coming year.
Equipment Used: Sony RX1r II