Last week, Binondo, Manila’s Chinatown, boomed with lively colors and festive sounds as people of all ages flock its streets to celebrate the arrival of the Year of the Wooden Horse.
Binondo ranks high in the list of my favorite places in the Philippines. Aside from its palpable charm, it carries a remarkable blending of Filipino and Chinese culture evident in the way this year’s Chinese New Year was celebrated.
Since 2012, I have been attending Chinese New Year photowalks and I can attest that the festivity’s appeal to both locals and tourists has not wane over the years. Thanks to the energy of the street performers!
The beginning of the Year of the Wooden Horse served as an opportunity not only to show gratitude for the gifts of the passing year but also to pray for another fruitful one.
A huge mall in Binondo also jumped in the celebration by putting a Wishing Wall, where mall-goers can hang their wooden boards filled with their aspirations for this year. Others chose to send their prayers in the golden altar set in the mall’s walkway.
Troupes of Lion and Dragon dancers performed from store to store. This tradition is believed to bring good fortune and wealth to the business.
Lucky charms, mostly horse statues and bracelets, were sold like hotcakes.
Aside from the lucky charms, street merchants also sold different items like balloons, candies, wind chimes, and colored chicks. One was even selling a Gameboy Advance!
Yours truly in the middle of the festivity.
This year’s Chinese New Year celebration was a perfect mixture of Chinese traditions and the penchant of Filipinos to make any occasion a unique and memorable one. It is indeed one of the infinite reasons that makes Binondo a captivating place!
You can find more photos in this album Consistently Charming: Chinese New Year Celebration in Binondo, Manila.
How did you celebrate this year’s Chinese New Year? Share us your story!