Temple marks Chinese New Year with ‘lions, dragons

BANDER SERI BEGAWAN (Borneo Bulletin/ANN) - Hundreds of incense-carrying people crammed into the capital’s famous Teng Yun Temple yesterday offering payers to mark the beginning of the Lunar New Year. 

Accustomed to the tradition, the annual lion and dragon dance troupe performed by nearly 100 dancers enlivened the morning festivity as they moved among the crowds while showcasing their acrobatic techniques and Wushu skills.

Crowds gathered at Teng Yun Temple as early as 7am yesterday morning, among them were the expatriates community, tourists, shutterbugs and passers-by.Children along with parents were ecstatic as they patted the lion and handed over red packets or angpow to encourage good fortune.
The annual event was also attended by the temple’s executive committee members who handed over red packets to lion dance performers for good luck.

Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) personnel stationed in the area managed the crowd and eased traffic to ensure a fun and safe festive atmosphere.One of the lion dance instructors told the Bulletin that the age-old tradition was also a way for them to uphold their cultural identity and heritage.

The Lunar New Year is one of most important events in the Chinese calendar, where people traditionally seek blessings on the eve and morning of the Lunar New Year before they begin celebrations with their families. As it is a public holiday in Brunei, local Chinese communities took the opportunity to be with families and  host ‘reunion dinners’ on the eve of the Lunar New Year.

Chinese New Year celebrations showcase the nation’s multi-racial community, with people regardless of race conveying good wishes to their Chinese friends.