January 23, 2012. Running start the year of the Water Dragon, I found myself in a mystifying bearing, I was up at 7AM – must be a start of a great Chinese year! I donned a bright pastel red shirt, which Chinese believes to draw luck, prosperity, good health and love. Then drove off to Shangri-La with my brothers Reymond (iLuvCebu.com’s IT Guy) and Edd (iLuvCebu.com’s writer/photographer) for the traditional Prosperity Toss/ Yee Sang Tossing. But before the Yee Sang Toss Ceremony that was held at Shagri-La’s Tea of Spring, Hoi Gong Ceremony or the Dragon Eye Dotting/Opening took place at the resort’s lobby.
“Dotting the Eye” refers to the Chinese tradition of painting/dotting the eye of the Chinese lion before the start of the lion dance to awaken the spirit of the lion. Hoi Gong is a traditional Chinese ceremony to bless and awaken a new lion. The ceremony brings down the spirit of the lion from the heaven and give the lion life, signifying the birth of a new lion into the world. It is believed that if the lion be used at any event not undergoing Hoi Gong or dotting ceremony would bring misfortune and bad luck. Mrs Kristine Kuok, Governor Gwen Garcia and Consul General Zhang Weiguo dotting the lions eyes.
Before the lions came to life, red ribbon was tied around the lions’ horns which symbolizes power and life force. When the lions came to life, firecrackers were then lit and drums were beaten (to drive away bad spirits and bad luck. DOSM Agnes Pacis, Chen Lianning, Mrs Kristine Kuok, Governor Gwen Garcia, GM Joachim Schutte, Consul General Zhang Weiguo tying red ribbons on lions horns.
Lions reaching for the Ang Pao and Greens which is believe to draw luck and prosperity.
Lions dancing in the Shangri-La Mactan’s main lobby. Lions dancing is performed as a ceremony to scare away evil spirits and to beckon luck and fortune.
GM Joachim Schutte, Mrs Kristine Kuok, Consul General Zhang Weiguo, Governor Gwen Garcia, Chen Lianning, DOSM Agnes Pacis