Marco, his mother and I traveled to the city center of The Hague today for the Chinese New Year celebrations. This included a few different parades, dragon dancing, a speech from the vice-mayor of The Hague, and more. The main action occurred just outside of de Bijenkorf (a department store) near Gedempte Gracht (street) in a parking lot (Google Maps).
The opening of the ceremony began with the waking of the two dragons using drums.
Along with drums there were also cymbal players:
And more dragons:
The movement of the dragon was simulated by pulling the steel rods up and down – one person up, the next person down.
I just liked the look of concentration on his face.
The end of the opening ceremony featured one dragon jumping from pedestal to pedestal. As there are two people underneath each costume, it takes a bit of coordination. Here’s a picture of the height of the highest pedestals:
The guy in orange has the job of catching the performers if they fall. They did twice – once in the beginning and once in the middle, on the highest pedestal. But no harm came – they were always caught before falling to the ground.
One performer on the other performer’s shoulders, to give the illusion that the dragon was rearing up.
catching them in the act of jumping from one pedestal to the next.
Afterwards, they unveiled the “statue” for each of the years. This is the year of the snake.
A crowd forms near the beginning of the parade that came later.
It was pretty fun, but very cold, considering!