The Kwan Family Lion Dance Team has been performing their Lion Dance for 28 years. They performed at Asia Plaza on Saturday February 9, 2008 to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
The ceremony began with a lengthy dance inside Li Wah Restaurant. Then the lion, drummers and other performers traveled throughout Asia Plaza as crowds followed along to watch.
The lion stopped at establishments that hung lettuce outside their door. While the loud music and firecrackers are intended to scare off bad luck, the green lettuce symbolizes prosperity - money.
The lion approaches the hanging lettuce cautiously to make sure it is safe. A few hung oranges along with the lettuce and a lucky red envelope with money inside.
After testing on the left and right sides, the lion does a routine to ward off any others that may want to eat his "green." The lion then picks up the green in his mouth and "chews" it.
This is called the Choy Cheng, or Eating of the Green (Vegetable).
The person manipulating the head first removes the red envelope and places it inside his shirt, so as not to drop it, which would mean bad luck. Then he tears the lettuce apart and throws it out first to the left, then to the right and then to the middle to help spread prosperity in all directions.
The drumming and music then kicks into a faster beat and the lion dances happily to show how he enjoyed the prize he consumed.
Then on to the next store!