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Last Friday, the 27th of January, the Casa de Campo and La Romana community celebrated the start of the Chinese New Year at Chinois with a delicious feast and traditional Chinese dance. Friends and families came together to witness an incredible tradition at one of our favorite go-to spots for Asian cuisine.
More than 100 people took the occasion to indulge in spicy Mongolian beef, sweet and sour chicken, vegetable chow mein, pork belly, sushi, dim sum, fried rice and more, while celebrating the arrival of the Fire Rooster! The sound of drums broke through the night over the course of dinner, signaling the magical “dance of the dragons”. A long yellow and red dragon danced and swayed through the sidewalk, entering the restaurant to the applause of the crowd.
Two smaller elaborately dressed lions followed bounding their way around the restaurant, performing the traditional custom of “cai qing“, which means “plucking the greens”. The lions danced and approached some lettuce hanging from the ceiling tied with a red ribbon and money throughout its length. The lion would bat at the lettuce like a curious cat to then “eat the green” and “spit” it out. He kept the money, a reward for the lion’s troupe.
The lion dance is believed to bring good luck and fortune to the business. He went by every table presenting guests with sweet treats, and Susana Joa, co-owner of Chinois, returned their kind gesture by presenting both the lions and dragons with a gift.
Chinois, beautifully decorated with its traditional lanterns, outdid themselves with more festive decor and featured a table with incense “in honor of the ancestors”. This, along with the dance of the lion and dragons, are a series of activities to ward off evil spirits. Susana also passed by every table to present dinner guests with a small red envelope containing 1 peso — a symbol that represents receiving money on Chinese New Year will bring good luck!
It was a wonderful night and we hope this New Year brings prosperity to you all! Happy Chinese New Year!
The following gallery of photos were taken by Laura Perdomo at the Chinese New Year 2017 celebration in La Romana: