By chance, two days later I went into the nearby village of Nathon and realised that Chinese new year celebrations were happening there that day. The procession had already started from the temple and I caught up with it as it was making its way along the main street, around the top, back along the sea front and then down through middle street.
Some of the shops had very impressive displays of food and offerings. The more important the business the more important was the display. All the tables were decked out in red and gold and many of the women and female children were also wearing red and gold.
Outside the department store I came across a huge altar with lots of statuettes on it.
There were also fakirs with metre long skewers through their cheeks.
The fakirs paraded through town too, with helpers supporting the weight of the skewers together with children carrying brightly coloured banners
We noticed that many people had daubs of red on their faces and saw people carrying glasses of red liquid with which to anoint people – I wasn’t sure if it was red dye or something more sinister like cockerels’ blood!
Although this was the year of the rabbit, and in view of rabbits’ natural reproduction abilities, we were surprised that there were so few pictorial representations of rabbits and it took us some time to find these