by Kerry Tolson @kerrytolson.com.
Inspired by the decorations we saw springing up all over Singapore in readiness for the coming Lunar New Year we were keen to welcome in the “Year of the Rooster”
Arriving at our Kangaroo Point accommodation (which we’d only booked that morning), we were stunned and delighted beyond words to find we had been given a ‘penthouse’ apartment with incredible unimpeded views of Brisbane City with glittering river frontage and the magnificent Story Bridge. However, because we’d arrived late afternoon we had little time to enjoy it - celebrations kick off at 5pm- giving us less than half hour to ‘red up’ and join the crowds.
We planned to walk across the bridge to Chinatown, all up about half an hour’s stroll, but the temp was hitting close to high thirties, so instead it was a taxi zip and we’re there within three minutes.
bouncing bottoms of toddlers and children sitting high on shoulders, possibly the best seat in the ‘house’ for two reasons - to see the spectacle of colour and to be out of feet’s way, I loose count of how many times my toes are stepped on in the eager crowd crush.
A thrashing of drums leaves us in no doubt that Lunar New Year has started, the incredible noise is to ward off evil spirits – especially “Nian” the monster representing ‘year’. As the beat gathers pace, two lion dancers spring to the stage, prancing and jumping, chasing away the bad spirits and welcoming in good fortune to the new year. Vibrant and agile, the performance is energetic and I’m enthralled at how they keep the pace so fast in the heat that is bearing down in Brisbane at the moment. The lions make way for dancers who perform with ribbons, scarves, brollys and incredibly long-sleeved gowns – and although we can only see glimpses of it, it’s exquisite to watch.
In between having our ears slammed by drums and or eyes wide from watching Kung-Fu demonstrations wielding rope-darts and Green Dragon Kwan Dao's (think whopping great long axe!) we go in search of dumplings.
One cannot do Lunar New Year without dumplings – and legend has it, the more dumplings one eats on Lunar New Year, the more wealth the year will bring!
I'm not sure what they are trying to say in this exhibit but Mal knows one thing, ‘stuff holding one of them up, but it’d be a great help in wheeling back the bootie.’
Bracing ourselves we step out into the heat for the cycle ride back to Kangaroo Point we pass under the Koromb (Spirit House) with its cassowary designs on the tiles and totem and past headdresses embellished in vibrant bird of paradise feathers, I feel the universe whisper to me welcome to a Bird’s year. Let it fly high.
Hello! I'm Kerry
. . . a plan-nothing, have no idea where I'm going travelholic.
A daughter of the gypsies and the wife of a workaholic, I'm forever wondering 'What's over there?' and devising ways to squeeze through the barbed-wire fence of small-business ownership responsibilities and every-day life tangles to discover it.
and this is my book