Tuesday, February 09, 2016

CHINESE NEW YEAR's CELEBRATION IN BRUSSELS

February 7, 2016

Brussels celebrated for the first time the Chinese New Year, by organizing a parade in collaboration with the Embassy of China, the Chinese mission to the European Union and the Chinese community in Belgium . Of course I couldn't miss this event ! Despite the terrorist level n°3 on 4, the place and the streets were packed with people. I have never seen so many Chinese in my whole life. Apparently there are 40.000 Chinese living in Belgium. The terrorists probably feared the dangerous looking dragons and kept away.

This New Year, is placed under the sign of the monkey. The festivities should have started at 2 pm on the Grand-Place according to the program.

The Brussels Alderman for Culture and the Ambassador of  China in Belgium should launch the festivities, according to tradition, awakening the dragons and lions, and allow the parade to start their procession. I don't know when they finally managed to wake up the dragons and lions, because it took them 2 h, only  at 4 pm the parade was finally moving. Meanwhile people were freezing in the strong wind, fortunately the sun was shining, and everybody was in a cheerful mood and had a lot of fun.

Groups from Beijing and Shanghai had made the trip. In total, over 400 artists have participated in dance demonstrations, folk music or martial arts on the Grand Place and in front of "La Bourse" (the ancient stock market)



Manneken-Pis was dressed for the occasion in a traditional Chinese costume. Somebody pretended that for half an hour it peed beer !

We arrived very early because I wanted to take pictures of the different costumes







Somebody showed me the Dragon head, the rest was somewhere else



It was nice to see the dancers performing



As it was so cold I suggested Nicole to sit down in the Brasserie "Le Roi d'Espagne" (The Spanish King) We were very lucky because we found a seat directly at the window and we could watch the whole preparation of the parade and the parade itself from the window, sitting in the warmth and having a coffee.



I went on the second floor of the Brasserie and took this picture out of the window.



This was the view we had for 2 h ! Poor people who stand there and waited !



Then the parade started



having difficulties to break through the crowd



But slowly, slowly it worked



Two princesses in beautiful costumes were sitting in this with pink veiled riksha. Unfortunately you can't see them on the picture.







The costumes and hats were all very colorful.



The Chinese orchestra, the pandas who started the parade and one of the dragons.




This one was very long ! Couldn't get it in one shot !




And the orchestra played and singers sang Chinese music.

We couldn't follow the parade until the end, because it was already so late. It was a pity that it hasn't started at 2 as it was foreseen. Nevertheless it had been a huge success and no incident happened.



8 comments:

Andrew said...

Terrific colour and movement. Clearly it was very successful but they really need to be closer to the advertised time next year.

Jo said...

What an interesting post! There are many Chinese here in our own little town. They live in their shops - many of them. And always have different dogs in the enclosures beside the buildings. I wondered aloud one day at the changeover of dogs behind the fenced area between our church and one such shop building. Then Angus told me they eat them. Ergh! It looks like you had a rainless day? Enjoy. Jo

ladyfi said...

Looks like a fun parade - and I like all the vibrant reds.

Klara said...

well done Gattina! I was there around 14h till 16h - than got bored and went home (plus, stupidly, I didn't check my memory cards and they ran out of space). wise thing (and some luck) to find a window seat. I specially love the dancers with drums - you captured them so beautifully in motion. BUT, it is not an urban myth - Manneken 'provided' beer - I had a glass :-).

Loree said...

How colourful and interesting. I love the Mannekin Pis. He wears so many different costumes throughout the year.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Wonderfully colorful -- it must have been like taking a vacation to another country without leaving home!

Wandering Wren said...

I hope the year of the monkey will be a very good one for you Gattina - all the signs are that it will, it must be an auspicious start - getting a seat in the window of the cafe is a good sign! Lovely photos.
Wren x

Sandra Carlier said...

Fantastic post ! I would wand to be there with you two ! The roi d'Espagne is my prefered pub ! I remember when we went at the second floor of another bar to take pics of the carpet !!!! i share your link on my facebook profil !

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I love painting, writing, travelling and photography. My favorit models are my four cats which I observe with fun and humor. I am German, married to an Italian and we live in Waterloo (15 km from Brussels) / Belgium since many years. Waterloo is a famous place to many tourists, because Napoleon lost his battle here against Wellington and other European countries.

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