The Celebrations for The Year of the Monkey started early in Bournemouth at the free open-air Chinese market in Boscombe. The Chinese Winter Wonderland was held at the Precinct at Christchurch Road and hundreds of people visited the traditional stalls selling all kinds of Asian food.
With a few loud cracks of the Shaolin whip The UKST Performance group caught everyone’s attention, followed by the sound of the drums and the appearance of a bright-red lion, who danced outside the Sovereign Shopping Centre and threw fortune cookies into the crowd. Many children were scared and fascinated by the lucky lion.
Among the honoured guests of this event organised by the Bournemouth Chinese School were Councillor John Adams and his wife Suzi, the Mayor and Mayoress of Bournemouth.
Later in the evening at the Mayor’s Ball at the Royal Bath Hotel, Bournemouth the celebrations continued and the UKST Performance group opened the ball by leading the waiting guests from the reception area to the main hall with our colourful dragon. It entered the hotel following the sound of the drums, flying through the crowd and leading everyone to their tables.
All guests enjoyed another performance and dance of our bright red lion. Even the Mayor of Bournemouth had a go in the lion head and surprised everyone of his natural lion dancing skills.
A few members of the UKST Performance group also showcased their Kung Fu forms and weapons as part of the Natural Elements performance group, which are taught by Shifu Martine, disciple of Shi Yanming, founder of the UK Shaolin Temple.
Shi Yan Min was one of the special guests at the Mayor’s Ball, organised by the Bournemouth Chinese School.
The evening was a great success and everyone had a great start into the lucky year of the monkey.