Chinese New Year and the spirit of Dà Pú (大酺)

As you all may know Chinese New Year is coming up this year (2013 - Year of the Snake) on February 10th. During this time of celebrations families will gather and enjoy foods and drinks and the company of their loved ones. To some this may only be on the first day, others extend it for many days during the CNY period (from the 1st day of the Lunar calendar to the 15th day, which is known as Lantern Festival). This occurs not just in Asia but all over the world where Chinese culture exists.

One cultural tradition that the members of the Zhong Yi Kung Fu Association Lion Dance Troupe have been able to enjoy (to some it's their favorite time of the year!) for the past 15 plus years is great food, beverages, games and general fun times with other members, families and friends at our school or at one of a few select restaurants/venues we perform for during the CNY period, and sometimes throughout the year as well.

This is where the term Dà Pú (大酺) comes in...

Dà Pú (大酺) literally means "Great Drinking in Company" it does have a connotation of alcohol consumption, however it's true meaning is more like "To party in the company of many". Traditionally the patrons of the lion dance will invite the crew to stay (or come back later) for a group meal at their establishment. This invitation has two purposes, one it's a great way to say "thank you" for a job well done, however, it also gives great "face" to the patron because he has an establishment full with not just people, but more importantly, LUCKY and HAPPY people that ushered in happiness, prosperity and well wishes for the future of their establishment. To lion dancers it is quite an honor to be invited for a meal on top of being given the Hóngbāo (紅包 - Red Packet) with a donation to the troupe.

This is one of the greatest perks of being a lion dancer (besides having firecrackers thrown at you), not only do you have the satisfaction of having done a great blessing/performance for a business/family/group/institution you are also able to hang out with your friends and enjoy their company with a great meal and usually lots of laughter and smiles.

It's important to remember that not all Da Pu, that we are invited to, are extravagant and exquisite banquets of delicious Chinese culinary creations, sometimes these Da Pu can be as laid back as a pizza party, as healthy as homemade organic foods and teas or as simple as power bars and some ice cold water on a hot summer day.

The important part is the people you are with, your partners, your schoolmates, your friends and family... without them there would be no company to share with, and without that there's no Da Pu.

Wishing you all a wonderful Year of the Snake and work hard so we can have a wonderful time at our next Da Pu!


Nelson Ferreira

Last modified on Tuesday, 29 January 2013 01:22

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