The Chinese New Year celebrations caught me at the Si Lom Sky Train station in Bangkok. I was heading to the hostel, after a two-day visit at Khao Yai National Park, when I heard firecrackers just around the corner. I made my way through the masses to a narrow one-way street. Between the residential buildings, right on the road, a 20-meter long red dragon was getting ready for its dance. The sounds of drums, gongs and cymbals had drawn a crowd of onlookers. I quickly found myself chatting with two Koreans. They told me that the dragon dance performance was meant to bring luck and prosperity to the community in the new year.
On the stroke of twelve, the sky was illuminated with fireworks. Chains of firecrackers made machine-gun-like noises to scare the bad spirits away. The dragon woke up. Its light body was moving like a wave, twisting and turning. Music and smoke accompanied its dance. It is impossible not to be caught up in the energy as you squeeze into the crowd trying to catch a glimpse of the celebrations. Maybe because it was my first Chinese New year, I was completely immersed in the magic of the celebrations. On the way back, just like the dragon, my heart danced of excitement longing for luck and prosperity in the new year.
Happy New 2017 Rooster Year!