tet / lunar ny

thank goodness for president's day and the fact that it's the monday following the lunar ny week-end is an extra blessing. i was working through the week-end to get a slideshow out to a couple that i shot late last december. i hope they like it. i will share it later once they have a chance to see it.

so it was only last week-end that i attended the david jay photojournalism workshop at brooks institude of photography in santa barbara. boy that was a mouthful. this week-end i applied everything i learned from dj to roll the slideshow project out in record time. needless to say, it was time well spent for me and i got to meet some real cool peeps. i don't do endorsements, but dj has my vote of approval ;)

alright, what about tet / lunar ny? i was so darn focus on getting projects out that i thought about skipping out on the festivities all together, but luckily, i reached a milestone sunday morning around 3 am that allowed me to sleep in until 10 am, waked up, worked some more, and hit the street of little saigon looking for fireworks and dralion performances around noon.

i have been trying to avoid driving through downtown these past couple of weeks, knowing traffic would be snarled up, because vnmese take their tet seriously, but on this morning, i went down town looking for action ;) and boy did i find some.

once i find parking and walked 1/2 a mile to where i wanted to go, i ran into some serious traffic, foot traffic.

oh the humanity of it. what are all these people doing here? they don't seem to be trying to go anywhere. hmmm...and then i found out.

apparently makeshift games of bau cua ca cop, which is identical the game chuck-a-luck, have sprouted out of no where in front of shops, spilling onto parking lots, with players making bets and on-lookers cheering them on, a spectacle and quite surreal at the same time.


firecrackers went off sporatically accenting the festive scene, reminding me i needed to be looking for dralion performances. once i negotiated past the crowd to the main parking lot at the front entrance of the asian garden mall i had this empty feeling that i had missed the dralion performance. there was a small stage in one corner of the mall entrance with a vnmese folk-singer crooning away; sweet, but not quite on a par with a dralion performance.

wait, i saw a young dralion performer out-of-uniform running across the parking lot to meet more buddy dralion performers out-of-uniform. i caught up with one and asked when they will be performing.

"oh sorry, we just finished" was his replied. "where are you guys going next?" i asked. "first & harbor."

arghhhh...early birds get the worm. late birds get none i see ;(

i dropped my head, aimlessly playing with the on-off control of my camera slung over my right shoulder.

wait again, what's that across the street way in the distance? i focused on these gold and red objects that appeared to bob up and down, visible above the cars. oh my goodness, i think they are dralions ;)

and the rest of the story as it goes, is in the photos. 5 dralions in all, and i caught the performance from start to finish.

chúc mừng năm mớ...gung hay fat choy...happy lunar ny...cheers!!!

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