Happy Year of the Monkey!
Today’s snapshot comes from the very first day of festivities in Yokohama’s Chinatown to celebrate the new lunar year. As seen in the photo above, the lucky lion went around to all the different shops in Chinatown to bless them with prosperity for the new year. Many if not all shops hung red envelops above the name on the shop which usually holds money for the performers as a thank you gift. As the performers made their way to each storefront, small fireworks crackled and the crowds followed eager to get a front row spot for each performance. The aroma of chestnuts and grilled pork buns filled the air and loads of people came out to share a meal with friends or family, get their palm read, pick their fortune (known as omikuji in Japan), and eat moon cakes!
Throughout the month of February, performances and parades including Chinese acrobatics and stunt performances are held in various locations throughout Chinatown. Though not extravagant, it’s a good showcase of how much time, concentration, and discipline people have put into their artwork. Chinese New Year celebrations are certainly worth checking out if you’re ever in Japan or the greater Asian continent at the beginning of the year.
Wishing you and your loved ones a joyful and balanced new year.