This year, Chinese New Year was on 25th January, 2020 and in Kolkata, Chinese New Year is celebrated in very few places. Territti bazaar, near Poddar court, besides Lal bazaar is one of them.
The Chinese community, who lives in Territi bazaar, organizes the celebration of Chinese New. The plans are afoot for the festival. Houses were cleaned properly before the festival. Every building, houses and street in the bazaar where Chinese New Year was celebrated, was decorated with red colour. Red Chinese lantern was also hanging in the street as well as in the buildings.
The main attraction of the celebration was the dragon dance. It was an extraordinary and unique experience to see the dragons dancing on the street of Kolkata. The dragon was dancing with chirpiness in the rhythm of the drum and other musical instrument played by the Chinese people.
The dragon dance is a strenuous job. The young generation performs the dance by wearing the dragon mask.
The dragons were collecting red envelope filled with money from the houses of the Chinese people. They hanged the red envelope from the first floor window of their houses.
After collecting the entire envelope, they proceed towards the Chinese temple.
They were also bursting “patakhas” (fire crackers) which is an indispensable activity of the celebration. It is a believed that Firecrackers scare off monsters and bad luck and brings good fortune.
People from different communities came in Territi Bazar for inclusion in the celebration. Many photographers were also present to capture the fabulous moments of the celebration. Chinese people were greeting and wishing good luck to each other for the upcoming days. Many people were enjoying the event from their window.
Toddlers also participated in the event. All the people present there, were drifted towards the dragon dance. Everyone was in jovial mood.
There are many Chinese restaurants in the locality which serves authentic Chinese dishes.
The Chinese people welcome everyone to share the festive cheer. The celebration was idyllic organised by the Chinese community. Before arriving in Territi Bazar, I was bubbling with excitement, and at end of the celebration, I was overwhelmed because of the affability of Chinese people, decorated homes and specially the dragon dance. I was basking in afterglow of witnessing such a beautiful celebration.
SOME INFORMATION ABOUT CHINESE NEW YEAR :-
i) There is no specific date of the New Year. It ranges from January 21 to February 20. This year it was on 25th January. The lunar calendar is of great importance for Chinese people.
ii)The New Year is also known as spring festival. It is a ceremonial day to pray to god for their ancestors and also for good harvesting season. The Spring Festival is the longest festive of 15 days.
iii) The Chinese zodiac gives each year an animal sign and this year will be year of rat.
iv) The celebration activities include:
a) Decorating buildings, street etc.
b) Having reunion dinner with family on New Year’s Eve,
c) Bursting firecrackers and fireworks.
d) Giving red envelopes containing money and other gifts.
v) Red is considered very auspicious colour in China.