This year’s Chinese New Year celebration started last February 10. It was a Sunday so I had the chance to go to Robinson's and had a glimpse of the celebration. My eyes were drawn to an array of traditional Chinese new year goodies like hopia, mochi and tikoy, to name a few.
Hopia, which literally means "good pastry", is popular here in the Philippines and mostly the flaky type with munggo filling or with ube filling.
Even though mochi is not originated in China, Chinese have their own version of mochi. This dumpling is mainly made of sticky rice with different fillings. The ones I have tasted were with shredded coconut fillings. Taste good!
Nian gao or popularly known as tikoy serves as the Chinese New Year cake. It is an ideal gift item in this kind of celebration because it is believed to bring out good luck the whole year through.
Aside from goodies, there were also snake stuffed toys that go along with this year's water snake celebration.
There were also different prosperity booths provided for selling fortune cookies, for fortune telling and for henna tattoo. They also had this big board of Chinese zodiac signs so everybody could check their fortune for this year.
The people started to gather around the center of the mall as the beat of the drums began to echo. The ceremony started off with the lion dance in which the lions' heads and tails were constantly moved in a jerky manner, their ears manipulated so as to make them wiggle, and their eyes were made to blink. Then followed by the dragon dance taking a pause in front of the makeshift altar and bowing down as a sign of respect then off they went around the mall. The lion dancers went to the different stores
inside the mall and continued their dance as part of the ritual. Some looked amazed and followed the dancers around while others just sat there and covered their ears because they could not stand the noise.
Then my friend told me to watch the lantern-making contest later that afternoon in which he was one of the judges. There were only five entries this year and the only one that stood out was this 3D-inspired lantern.
We all know that lantern plays a great role in the Chinese New Year celebration because it is a symbol of light which brings about sunny environment.
So there you go with my Chinese New Year experience. To the Chinese community, Kiong hee huat tsai!