As an elder twin – by five minutes – Rory James will be at the head of a dancing lion during a Chinese festival in Wellington this weekend.
"I guess I like to be in charge." His brother Jasper will dance in the tail, but doesn't mind being relegated to the back. "Your arms don't get tired holding up the head."
Both said they loved dancing in the colourful costume, and hoped to graduate to a dancing dragon soon.
The twins, 11, will have a busy weekend as Wellington hops into action for its tenth Chinese New Year Festival, this time for the Year of the Rabbit.
The festival helped make Rory and Jasper proud of their Chinese heritage, their mother, organiser Stephanie Tims, said. "When we were growing up you just put your head down and got integrated. Now all cultures are celebrated. I love that they can take Chinese things to school. I never felt like that growing up."
Thousands of people come into Wellington for the festival, which is bright with Chinese culture, puppeteers, dancing dragons and the rich aroma of Asian food.
YEAR OF THE RABBIT
The Year of the Rabbit hops around every 12 years.
The rabbit symbolises character traits including creativity, compassion and sensitivity.
The Chinese believe a person born in this year is very fortunate, softly spoken, happy and content. Like the rabbit, they hop over obstacles, and always land on their feet.
Famous people born in the Year of the Rabbit include Johnny Depp, Germaine Greer, Whitney Houston, Michael Jordan, Drew Barrymore and Sting.
2011 is the Year of the Golden Rabbit. It is set to be a tranquil year, with diplomacy reigning. Events to look out for this year include marriage, romance, increased business, inconsistent weather and natural disasters.
New Clothes for the New Year Fashion and Dance Show at TSB Bank Arena, Queens Wharf, from 1pm till 3pm: A two-hour celebration of the Chinese tradition of wearing new clothes at Chinese New Year for good luck. Featuring lion dances, a costume showcase and ReQuest, an all-girl dance crew.
Fireworks at The Promenade, Frank Kitts Park, at 9pm.
Asian market at TSB Bank Arena from 10am till 5pm: A bustling market with Asian foods, crafts and stage performances. The Hebei Acrobatic and Magic Group will perform throughout the day.
Street parade from 2pm till 3pm: Starts at Embassy Theatre end of Courtenay Place.
Cultural entertainment at Frank Kitts Park, Jervois Quay, from 3pm till 5pm: Colourful entertainment featuring diverse community groups of Wellington
- The Dominion Post
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