Downtown Johannesburg offered a glimpse of inner-city Beijing on Saturday.
South Africans united in this exciting spectacle to party in the Chinese New Year – with dragon dancing and a spectacular fireworks display lighting up the night sky as part of the festivities.
Organised by the Chinese community, Commissioner Street (Old China Town) saw thousands of people from all races joining in the fun and laughter.
The year of the rooster (the 10th in the Chinese zodiac 12-year cycle) was marked – as the electrifying atmosphere sizzled with aromas of fried spring rolls, chow mein, and chicken and sweetcorn soup.
But they were soon suppressed by the pungent smell of the gunpowder – among other elements – within the pyrotechnics from the massive and gaudy fireworks display that lasted for more than half-an-hour. One after the other, rockets jetted off high into the sky, lighting up the city.
But before that, revellers were treated to a dragon dance display, parading to each shop where hundreds of crackers were set off outside the doors to ward off evil and usher in good luck. Entertainers drew in the crowd with a traditional dance of the lion (seen by the Chinese community as a protector and a symbol of power), followed by a kung fu and Tai chi display, singing and drumming.
The evening ended with shop owners closing their doors, hopeful this year would be better than the last.
Also, view the gallery of images from the Chinese New Year at the Nan Hua Temple: