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Happy Lunar New Year!

The Year of the Rabbit

Lunar New Year in CDMX

Welcome back to Erika's Artsy Travel Blog. This week's post is focusing on the art of taste and performance! Mexico City is a mecca of diversity. There are many people who expat from other countries around the world to Mexico City for the amazing food, people and beautiful architecture. For Chinese New Year my friends and I went to Asian Bay Restaurant for their New Year's dinner celebration.

The celebration was amazing! There was a three course meal and performers on the drums and symbols, dragon dancers and puppeteers, and fan dancers. The evening was full and eventful.

The Meal

There was already an air of celebration when I arrived. Lanterns, oranges, and red envelops embossed in gold decorated the scene. Oranges are for good health, red is for good luck, and the coin inside the red envelop brings good fortune. I was in the spirit of receiving this night.

The menu showcased ingredients of Chinese cuisine. I thoroughly enjoyed the Lychee and Coconut drink that I had before dinner, it reminded me of those yummy gummy life savers we ate as kids. It brought me nostalgia and fun. For the first course there was pot stickers, mung bean noodles with chili, egg rolls and marinated ribs. Everything was phenomenal! Course two was roasted duck, battered shrimp, beef with peppers, and egg fried rice. I particularly enjoy spicy foods, so the beef with peppers was delectable to me, especially when paired with the the mildness of the fried rice with the refreshing hint of green onion. YUM! For the final course, dessert bao. Because of my bad relationship with gluten, unfortunately I could not partake. Though, the bao looked adorable, carefully shaped into little bunnies for the this new year's zodiac sign.

The Performance

While this lovely dinner was taking place, we were treated to a grand performance. The restaurant owner told the tale of the cunning rabbit out-witting the dragon. The legend of the rabbit inspired courage and regaled the crowd of the spirit of the rabbit zodiac. The drums began to beat and the symbols clang together as three brightly colored dragons danced brilliantly. Green, orange, and yellow filled the crowd with fiercely, chomping jaws and silly head-bobbing and rump-shaking. The kids and adults watched and danced alike with eager curiosity and fascination. One couple had their dog dressed up as a dragon performer, which added to the fun of the festivities as they jokingly fed the dog to the large dragon performer (disclaimer: no dogs were harmed in this merry making event 😉).

Then the long dragon puppet appeared. The puppeteers weaving in and out of the crowd and positioning the dragon menacingly behind tables for photo opportunities. Graceful, fan dancers made a soothing and beautiful close to the evening, with their water-like, flowing sways and dips. Lastly, the owner began to pass out little, cute rabbit stuffed animals to the children in the crowd, the children excitedly picked the bunny with their favorite color attire. Moments like these can often feel fleeting. This night was a good reminder to stay present and live in the bliss of dancing and silliness with friends over good food. Cheers to you all, and a Happy New Year! Good luck and good fortune little bunnies!

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