Golden Temple Rings in Chinese New Year 4710
Lion Dance and traditional red envelopes thrill patrons
The Golden Temple Restaurant in Washington Square celebrated the beinning of the Chinese New Year 4710, by entertaining guests with a Lion Dance outside of the restaurant and providing them with red envelopes containing lucky money and the conclusion of their dinner.
Considered the most important of the Chinese traditional holidays, the celebration lasts for fifteen days beginning on the first day of the Chinese lunisolar calendar. In China, the holiday is also referred to as the Spring Festival as the new year marks the end of winter. On the fifteenth day, the celebration ends with the Lantern Festival: children go out at night and bring paper lanterns to temples, and solve riddles written on the lanterns. During the new year celebration, traditional clothing is usually red or a bright color. It is believed that these colors are vibrant enough to scare away evil spirits.
The main attraction for the Chinese New Year at Golden Temple is the performance of the traditional Lion Dance outside of the restaurant. Performed by a martial arts troupe, the dance is called the "plucking of the greens." Lettuce, which represents fortune, is hung from the roof while two oranges are placed on a table at the entrance to the restaurant. The lions are "teased" or directed by a Buddha and eventually led to the lettuce, which the lions will break apart and spread around the entrance to represent good luck and ward off evil spirits. The oranges are usually tied to red envelopes containing money as a reward. The spectacular dance then concludes with the lighting of Chinese firecrackers which makes sure all evil things are scared away from the restaurant and bring prosperity.