MYTHICAL creatures lured hundreds of people on to the streets of Bury St Edmunds this week, as crowds joined in with the Chinese New Year celebrations.
Each year, Patrick Chung organises a week-long spectacle outside his Canton Chinese Restaurant, in Hatter Street, and this week, in the Year of the Dragon, a dragon dance was performed using colourful 12ft long creatures.
“It’s for the community to come along and learn the Chinese cultures and what the dragon dance represents – as well as sending away the evil spirits that remain, it welcomes fresh prosperity into Bury,” said Mr Chung.
“It’s important to exchange cultures, we live in a multi-national society,” he added.
A raffle was also held to raise funds for Howard Primary School, for which Mr Chung is governor, as the celebrations continued in schools across Bury.
On Monday, students at Howard Primary School made dragons, practised dragon dances and performed them as an afternoon procession.
They tasted Chinese snacks, including noodles with soy sauce, and drew a map of China on the playground using chalk.
As well as making dragons and performing dragon dances to student-led music, on Monday pupils at Hardwick Primary School made Chinese lanterns, Chinese fans and fortune cookies, in which they hid good luck messages.
At St James CE VA Middle School, the Chinese New Year celebrations came early with last week’s snappy chopstick challenge, where youngsters raced to see how many peas they could transfer from one bowl to another.
Simon Lee, who helped his classmates with their technique, said: “It was difficult for me to explain how to hold them because I just know. Some of my friends did really well.”
They also tasted Chinese food, painted Chinese characters and learnt basic Chinese phrases.