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On Saturday, January 25th, Chinois hosted a Chinese New Year celebration kicking off the year of the rat with traditions, delicious food, and dragon dancing!
Arriving at Chinois, the patio was full of decorations and guests excited to welcome the new year! With a mix of teriyaki chicken, fish, dumplings, sushi rolls, chofan, spring rolls, and lettuce wraps, there was a huge feast to indulge in under the lanterns on the patio.
Towards the end of the feast, loud music rang out with drums and cymbals, and the dancing dragons began to put on a show. Starting in the street, the dragons circled, calling for prosperity and good fortune. Coming into Chinois, the dragons continued their dance, circling the tables and guests, before heading for the lettuce hanging from a red ribbon covered in money. Eating the lettuce and money, they spit out the lettuce leaves and kept the rest, a symbol for luck, new beginnings, and fortune.
After the lively dance, Chinois owners, Susana Joa and Ricardo Bello, gave a blessing, presented the dragons with gifts, lit incense and handed out pesos in beautiful red envelopes to each and every guest in attendance. Giving out money is a tradition that is believed to bring luck, health, and safety for the remainder of the year. As the dragon’s left, firecrackers lit up the street, spooking away ghosts and any evil spirits. The evening ended with people lighting and releasing fire lanterns into the sky.
The celebration was lively and certainly welcomed the year of the Rat to La Romana! It was such fun being able to experience the traditions of the Chinese New Year and take part in the blessings to bring prosperity and fortune to all! Happy Year of the Rat everybody!
*The following photographs were taken by Mairobi Herrera during the Chinese New Year Celebration at Chinois January 25th: