I’m a huge lover of ALL holidays, so when my baby brother married a beautiful Korean gal, I got so excited when I realized not only do I get that sister I’ve always wanted, but I get to celebrate yet ANOTHER New Year!! Traditional, Jewish and now Lunar, too! Yay!
For the last few years, we’ve headed down to our Chinatown here in Philly and watched the traditional lion dance. This is when the costumed lions head to each establishment in the neighborhood and mimic the motions of a lion and dance for lettuce offerings.
The lion in Asian cultures is a symbol of power, wisdom, and good fortune. It is believed to chase away evil spirits and bring happiness, longevity, and good luck. Sometimes the lion will bite the head of those around them in the crowd. It is said to bring them extra good luck. That explains why “the lion ate my hair, Mom!”
Each dance and offering received is then celebrated with firework explosions!
*If you’re bringing the little ones, I would suggest soft earplugs, maybe even a bandana around their nose and mouth because there is some smoke.
This is all done to the sound of drumming on a tanggu or 堂鼓, which literally means “ceremonial hall drum”. It’s a traditional Chinese drum from the 19th century. How cool!
Then the crowd, the drummers, the lions, the Philadelphia Suns, (a group of volunteers whose mission is to organize and support cultural and educational opportunities for anyone who wishes to practice them) march from shop to shop together.
It’s a really great time, one I think everyone should experience! Whether you’re of Asian descent or not, all are warmly welcome.
We always end the parade with a feast, and this year it was definitely one was one to remember! We finally got to try Chubby Cattle, a hot and new hot-pot place. (Pun not originally intended, but I’ll take it!). A visit here was the perfect way to warm up on a chilly winter’s day!
The kiddos, hubs, and I equally enjoyed creating every aspect of our delicious piping hot bowls! It was really a blast and a wonderful spot for us vegans and carnivores out there alike. It’s the only hot pot place in the country with grade A5 beef wagyu.
See all the details and my review here.
Happy ‘Year Of The Pig’ to all who celebrate and even those who don’t! 😜🐷