Lions, Firecrackers, Kung Fu, Drumming… Wah Lum CNY, unforgettable.
Each year, the Wah Lum Temple celebrates Chinese New Year (CNY) by performing the lion dance and kung fu shows for local businesses. It is truly an unforgettable experience. Anyone who has shared this experience with us would tell you the same.
On February 10, we started the celebration at 8:00am and performed continuously until 9:00pm! It was a long day, but a gratifying one. I am so happy that I am able to help continue the tradition of Lunar New Year in Orlando that my father, Grandmaster Pui Chan, started over 30 years ago.
It amazes me to see people of all ages having fun feeding the lion the lucky ‘hung bao’ and watching the shows. There are very few activities that so many generations can enjoy together, but celebrating CNY with Wah Lum is definitely one of them.
The performers also have a good time. The Demo Team and students train very hard for the big day. We spent months preparing for the celebrations with extra rehearsals and training time. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and character to survive CNY and the training involved.
The Wah Lum team definitely made a lasting impression on spectators as they watched in awe of the lion and kung fu shows. Some store owners who we have been celebrating with us for over 30 years cried tears of joy at the start of the lion dance. It is touching, inspiring, and reminds me why it is so important to keep this tradition alive. It isn’t just about the performances and the demos, it is about the tradition.
Thank you to all Wah Lum members for the support, dedication, and hard work that you have put in to make CNY the best celebration of the year. Grandmaster Chan, Simu Suzy, Si Jye Tina, and I truly appreciate it.
Although I am relieved that the 4 days of over 30 shows is finished, it is also a little sad. I enjoy seeing the loyal patrons who have supported the tradition at their business laugh and smile together. I enjoy seeing the generations of family members that are all equally excited by the site of the lion and firecrackers. I enjoy seeing the firecrackers as the wind blows the smoke away. I enjoy seeing the enthusiasm in my students as the day nears. I enjoy going home to silence, but can still hear the drums playing. I enjoy the camaraderie that my students have for one another as they cheer for one another. I enjoy the hard work and meticulous scheduling it takes to coordinate the day…and then seeing it all come to fruition. I admittedly enjoy the madness of CNY, but also welcome the downtime. I look forward to next CNY, my year… the Year of the Horse. (which falls the day after my birthday!) Mark your calendars for January 31, 2014!
Chinese New Year always felt like the real New Years day to me, after all, it is my tradition.
All Photos Courtesy of Karl Simpson