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Last Friday the 27th of January, the Casa de Campo community welcomed the Chinese New Year at Chinois restaurant in the Marina Casa de Campo – and with the year of the dragon being the luckiest year in the Chinese zodiac there was much to sing and dance about!
Every year Susana Joa, owner of Chinois restaurant in the Marina Casa de Campo organizes something special to celebrate the Chinese New Year and this year was no exception! More than 200 Casa de Campo villa owners, visitors, friends and family choose to join Susana at Chinois for the Chinese New Year celebration, where they dined on fine Chinese cuisine and enjoyed a traditional Chinese New Year ceremony including the magical dance of the lions!
Chinese Lion at Chinois in the Marina Casa de Campo
The traditional Chinese New Year ceremony involved the “lighting of the incense in honor of the ancestors”, the traditional “lion dance” and fire-crackers – a series of activities meant to “ward off evil spirits.”
For those enjoying Chinese New Year in Chinois, the highlight of the ceremony was the “lion dance.” The show started with the banging of drums and in marched the lions and dragons! One long red winding dragon danced and swayed between the dining tables at Chinois and to the applause of the crowd, 2 smaller more elaborately dressed lions bounded their way around the restaurant, posing for photos and rearing their giant sequined heads in dance and celebration! As the show came to a close the two lions walked among the tables and offered guests sweets and a special lucky red envelope from their mouths.
Casa de Campo villa owners enjoy a night out at Chinois in the Marina!
Lion Dance or Dragon Dance?
Over the years, we have mistakenly called this traditional dance “the dance of the dragons” or the “dragon dance”, but it is in fact the “lion dance” which is traditionally performed for Chinese New Year’s eve – a symbolic ritual to usher in the New Year, as well as to ward off bad omens and evil spirits. However, we are not totally crazy – the performance at Chinois does involve dragons, so technically what we have been enjoying is the “lion dance” with the participation of dragons – for those of you who saw the performance at Chinois, the “lions” are the costumes worn between 2 people (see below photo), whilst the dragon the one held in the air on sticks.