| Hakim Hayat |
THE beating of drums and clash of cymbals resonated throughout the capital yesterday as hundreds of members of the Chinese community converged at the Teng Yun Temple to mark the beginning of the Chinese Year of the Goat.
The biggest event of the Chinese calendar, it is customary for Chinese communities all over the world to start off their Lunar New Year’s first day with offerings and prayers at a temple, and the community in Brunei Darussalam is no exception.
Amid thick smoke from burning candles and incense, a prominent lion dance troupe from Chung Hwa Middle School entered the temple’s courtyard to kick off the celebrations, performing to a crowd who had gathered as early as 7am to witness the colourful and lively performance.
The troupe later made their way into the temple, where worshippers could be seen entering and exiting to pay respects to their ancestors and make offerings as part of traditional prayers for prosperity, health and peace.
A number of tourists, shutterbugs and passers-by were also attracted to the performances at the temple, while personnel from the Royal Brunei Police Force were stationed in the area to control the crowd and ease traffic.
Those attending the ceremony, especially children, were ecstatic as they patted the lion and handed over red packets or ‘angpow’ for good luck.
Chinese New Year celebrations showcase the nation’s multi-racial community, with people regardless of race conveying well-wishes to their Chinese friends.
As a popular tradition to usher in the Lunar New Year, the Chinese community yesterday began open-house invitations to visitors.