Sunday, February 21, 2010

Year of the Tiger

(even though that's a picture of a rooster)

6:30 P.M. The sun is shading the fig trees in dappled brilliance, St. Mary's Cathedral looms over the lushness of Hyde Park, and a dozen Chinese performers are trying to say, "Happy New Year" in sync. Suddenly, a red-ribboned dragon rises from the ground to dance tauntingly around the Archibald Fountain, while men dressed in black gis kick and punch the air. It's an hour before Sydney's Chinese New Year Twilight Parade begins and the performers are warming up, practicing, and (at least for children dressed as tigers) practicing their roars.
With jubilant performers, thousands of spectators lined the streets of downtown Sydney to watch the parade. Bob and I headed downtown a bit early to take in the atmosphere. I wanted to watch the parade, and Bob wanted to drink. So we made a compromise and watched the parade from the window of a pub. The parade started at a slow, sauntering pace, but then picked up in speed and color. Glowing denizens of previous years trolled down the street, such as this friendly dog, portly pig,and slithering snake . . . oddly followed by women rollerblading inside tables.My only question, well besides, "Why are there women rollerblading with tables on their hips?" Would be, "If one unfortunately falls, how does she get back up?" And to usher in the new new year of 2011, a sneak peak of an illuminated rabbit tagged the end.Men dressed in freakishly fetid bunny costumes closed the parade in haphazard hoppings. They threaded the streets on wild pogo sticks, leaving little doubt that preparations for next year's parade will begin as harried, crazy, and quick as a bunny.

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