The Lion dance troupes from the Zhoujia style go each year to Bright Hill temple for Qingming celebration to honor their founder. The Zhoujia is a special form of Lion Dance, which is very energetic, founded in Singapore, there are very interesting videos on the history of this martial art, coming from the south China King-Fu. Mister Li, in his 80’s is he current master and the son (or grand son) of the founder
The Qingming or Ching Ming festival, also known as Tomb-Sweeping Day in English (sometimes also called Chinese Memorial Day or Ancestors’ Day).
The troupes gather at the bottom of the slope getting up to one of the temple courtyards (for those who do not know Bright Hill temple, it is a massive compound), they run up one by one up the steep slope (and very sunny last week).
The lion dancers perform around the yard at the sound of drums and pray as different shrines before ending before a table laid with offerings. They then move aside and align waiting for the other troupes to parade as well. A total of 6 groups were present this day.
Afterwards there will be some common praying to the ancestor, Kung-Fu demonstration , a full minute of full strength drumming and a final tour.
I felt very lucky last week when a friend of my wife told us a bout a fire dragon performance organized by a temple in Balestier area in Singapore. In 9 years here I have never seen such a thing and was very thrilled to see one.
The Fu De Gong temple is located in Kim keat lane, very easy to access by bus. I have been told by the friendly member of the temple that this is a taoist temple. I did not see the actual temple as we arrived at night fall and the premises were covered by the tent hosting the celebration.
There was maybe a couple of hundred people attending, on one side of the tent was a stage with a Cantonese opera (or wayang) on the other side a large shrine and in the middle an area for the performances.
When we arrived a very good quality lion dance was in process and we enjoyed for a good half hour until the riot begin. From the end of the road the Dragon was approaching; with music and flames; until it finally enters the tent (but that’s another story)…
So the last week-end before the start of the year of the goat I went with the family in Chinatown. I brought the Leica IIIc and a couple of lenses actually 3.
Most of the shots below are done with the infamous back focusing Jupiter 8, 50mm f2.
Quite fun anyway.
Chinatown is very busy around this time. People shop for food, decoration, or just stroll around.
These two guys selling chestnuts are here all year round
But other stalls are just temporary,
Just selling nuts
or fruits in the side of the street
Some of the sellers are coming from China just for the event, or so have I been told.
Sausages and cured meat stall.
This was the first time I use Kentmere 100 ISO film; reasonably cheap, I understand it is manufactured by Ilford now. As I rarely use Ilford product (except fro Pan 50 and Pan 400) I cannot really tel how it compares to FP4 for instance. Nothing to rave about, I’ll probably finish my stock and go back to Tmax or Rollei RPX 100.
Stroll around Waterloo street in Singapore before the Chinese New Year. I asked this gentleman for the picture. I focused on his hand and his ring, not a to good oof effect. But I did not know how long I could wait before shooting.
A tour downtown for the first day in the year in the rabbit. I carried the Tamron 28-75 F2.8 which is supposed to be a walkaround lens, right? I hate this lens, well ok, not hate but it seems I never have very good shots with it, and i never come to the point where is is sharp enough. Well here is a sharp shot. So keep, sell? Time will tell.
Here comes Chinese New Year, the town is decorated, Chinatown streets are buzzing.
A quick Friday evening stroll with the D700 and the old Tamron 28mm F2.5 manual focus lens. I could not resist to shoot the pink lights in the fake trees along south bridge road. Here comes my Chinese new year bokeh.
Incidentally I have upgraded to Lightroom 3.3 this week because it support more lenses for the correction option; I was looking for the Nikkor 24mm F2.8D.