Chinese New Year Celebration With Lion Dance – Old China Town, Tiretta Bazar, Kolkata ( Calcutta )

The lion

The lion

Currently the city with the only Chinatown of India, Calcutta witnesses a number of colourful events around the Chinese New Year. Both the old Chinatown in Tiretta Bazar and the new one in Tangra dresses up and the celebration continues well into the first month. Though the annual Dragon Dance stage show in Tiretta Bazar kicks start the festival, the traditional events start from the morning of the 1st day of the year. In the morning the Lion Dancers’ groups start their performance in the various Chinese temples. After performing in front of their Gods they leave the temples to visit the Chinese establishments and houses accompanied by drums, cymbals and firecrackers. They dance in front of the houses, which is believed to bring good luck for the business and the members of the house. While they are performing, a piece of lettuce along with a red envelope containing some money is tied in a string and hung above them. The lion dancers showing great skill approaches the hung items. The lion head first eats the lettuce and then throws it out while keeping the red envelope and the money as their reward.

All the below images were shot during the last Chinese New Year on 31st January 2014 in Tiretta Bazar.

The all girls group performing in front of a house

The all girls group performing in front of a house

Going for the green

Going for the green

Spectators

Spectators

The Shining Star group showing their skills

The Shining Star group showing their skills

Members of the house hanging the green and the red envelope

Members of the house hanging lettuce and the red envelope

The lion dancers perform to his beats

The lion dancers perform to his beats

The China Town group trying to get the envelope

The China Town group trying to get the envelope

The girls trying to fetch the money

The girls trying to fetch the money

Going for the beer

Going for the beer

Got it

Got it

 
The China Town group

The China Town group

The Shining Stars taking a break

The Shining Stars taking a break

Youngest participant

Youngest participant

Here comes the Dragon

Here comes the Dragon

Another lion going for the beer

Another lion going for the beer

The next Chinese New Year is on 19th of February 2015

51 Comments

Kristen Sarra

Haha based on the above comments, it looks like I’m not the only one who didn’t know Calcutta had a Chinatown! Thanks for the information and cool cultural tips ๐Ÿ™‚

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Dennis Kopp

Sumit, I didn’t know that there was still a Chinatown in Kolkata, especially not with a parade. Well, actually I have visited an old Chinese temple in Kolkata once, in an area that used to be inhabited by Chinese people. But nowadays they were all gone and only the temple and a big elephant house entrance reminded of their presence. But anyway, the parade looks definitely like a fun event to attendโ€ฆ ๐Ÿ™‚

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Sandra @ Tripper

Very interesting. How big is the Chinese community? Mostly business owners I presume, similar to Portugal. I still have the feeling that here in Lisbon it’s a community that keeps it to themselves though. Maybe mingling more with their neighbors than a bigger extension of locals.

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Shico

Great picture in here but seriously, I never would have thought if not for this post that Chinese have their own different calendar for the year. And I will like to read more of post concerning their calendar history (that’s if any).

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Elena

Iยดm sure the kids have lot of fun at the celebration…So colourful and vibrant!I would love to see the lion dance!

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Alli

I love all those colourful and vibrant dragons! I wish I could witness such a cultural event like this ๐Ÿ™‚

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melody

Interesting celebration. I love studying the Chinese zodiac, but that is about all I know about the traditions. Parade looks fun and I love your pictures.

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Milosz Zak

It’s really incredible to see how strong and resilient Chinese culture really is abroad. Vancouver is an incredible example of that, and it comes as no surprise to see this in India.

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Tim

We have a huge celebration like this in San Francisco but I like yours better. Your photos capture the essence of it and it seems a lot more personal. Thanks.

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JoAnna

I LOVE the beautiful dragon costumes. I would be so excited to see this in real life! What a fantastic cultural experience! Thank you for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

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Dave Cole

Very cool and colorful! I have never experienced one of these Chinese New Year celebrations in person, but they seem like a lot of fun to attend and full of good cheer. Thanks for sharing the photo essay!

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Casey O'Connell

I had no idea that Calcutta was the only city in India with a Chinatown- crazy! Really nice pictures, and this seems like an awesome event to witness! Do a lot of Indian people go to watch? Or is it mostly Chinese people?

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The Roaming Renegades

Wow, what an experience, such vibrant colours and energy, I can almost hear the noise! I never knew there were Chinatowns in India, a great mix of two fascinating cultures, great stuff!

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Tami

I once saw one of these parades in Chinatown in Seattle. But I’m sure this one was a lot more authentic!

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Vel Murugan

I’m a bit late than all of you, just came to know about India’s Chinatown. Any recommendation of where to stay and what’s their cultures in India? I wish to visit there.

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