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Today saw Basildon celebrate Chinese New Year to welcome in the ‘Year of the Horse’. The day features many different Martial Arts demonstrations on the 1st Floor ‘bridge’ area in the Eastgate Centre, calligraphy on the Ground Floor and the excitement of the Lion Dance as remarkably athletic Chinese Lions went from shop to shop for a bite to eat (it seems these ‘lions’ are vegetarian as they only ate lettuce!) and to dispense good fortune.
When one of the Lions arrived at our studio he rather surprised Tom, our on-air presenter, by finding his way to Studio 1 and almost biting off his head. It was fascinating to see how the drummer controls the dance, giving the Lion instructions through the beat.
As the Lion makes his progress through the Centre, he stops by every shop to collect a red envelope and to grab a lettuce leaf. The red envelope contains money that the Lion keeps for charity. The lettuce leaf is shredded and distributed with fine disdain hither and yon. The accompanying photos give you an impression of this noisy, fun event.
Hear audio from the day using the player above, or view images below.[justified_image_grid facebook_id=128410770504949 facebook_album=732866293392724]