Friday, March 26, 2010

Kota Kinabalu Pre-Chinese New Year Celebration

Okay, so we really don't know what the event's called. Last February, two days before Chinese New Year, locals and tourists flocked to the big midnight market - which by the way only happens once a year according to the cab driver who drove us from the airport to our B&B the day before. Whenever we see a frenetic crowd, we sprint the opposite way. This time, we submitted ourselves to the chaos.

Nearby Jalan Gaya, red lamps dotted around a small park.

After watching the sunset at Signal Hill Observatory, we trooped to Jalan Tujuhbelas (perpendicular to Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens near Central Market) where we saw merchants setting up their stalls earlier that day.

Gaiety enveloped the atmosphere. We were fortunate to catch a Lion Dance performance. I've never thought the dance requires a lot of stunt skills! I should have known better. This dance's basic movements are closely related to martial arts.

Impressive Lion Dance performed by young locals.

During Chinese New Year, a lion doesn't just dance in the streets, it dances from house to house to bring good luck and fortune. In turn, the lion is rewarded a hung bao or angpau (ampao). A small red envelope containing cash.

While we were enjoying every bit of the show, Nadge was suddenly on a burst of outrage pointing at a lady walking away. "That girl was trying to open my bag!", she exclaimed. She rummaged through the contents of her small backpack and checked if there was anything missing. The lady disappeared in the sea of human traffic.

We were relieved nothing was taken, but Nadge got totally upset. It ruined her evening. She and my sister Gabe called it a day and went back to their hotel. As for me and my hubby, we were still in a festive mood. We capped off the night having cheap seafood barbecue along the wharf.


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lakwatsera de primera said...
April 29, 2010 at 5:48 PM

hmmm snatcher is everywhere... it pays to be extra careful all the time.

☮Pinay Travel Junkie☮ said...
April 29, 2010 at 8:27 PM

True. It's sad how they take advantage of such festivities.

Shervin Emami said...
April 29, 2010 at 9:52 PM

The lion dance was really cool!

☮Pinay Travel Junkie☮ said...
May 1, 2010 at 3:36 PM

Baba, yeah totally! I wish we have seen the lion dance on posts - or whatever it's called. Looks more dangerous.

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