WITH a roar and a shake, this eye-catching lion sashayed through Priory Meadow shopping centre at the weekend.
But fear not, it was just part of the town’s first ever Chinese New Year celebrations held on Sunday.
The iconic lion was the centrepiece of the event and was popular with onlookers, particularly youngsters who were able to dance behind it.
The day also featured traditional dancing displays from the Hastings Chinese Association (HCA), Respond Academy and mesmerising martial arts from the 1066 Kung Fu School, with Chinese groups from Brighton also coming to join in the fun.
Michelle Foo, of the HCA, which organised the day, said: “I really enjoyed it and it was lovely to see lots of people coming out to support the colourful Chinese New Year celebrations.
“Many said they would like us to do it again next year and I hope it will become even bigger and better moving forward.”
Chinese New Year is a 15-day festival and every year is named after one of 12 animals which according to Chinese mythology were the ones who came to bid farewell to Lord Buddha when he left earth for the final time. This is the Year of the Rabbit, and anyone born in the next year is said to be friendly and affectionate.
Miss Foo thanked the Hastings Intercultural Organisation, Women’s Voice, Priory Meadow and Hastings Borough Council for their support and Cllr Jay Kramer, deputy leader, said she too wanted it to become an annual fixture in the local calendar.
She said: “I hope the Chinese New Year becomes part of our regular celebratory events, alongside International Women’s and Children’s Day, Refugee Week, Black History Month, the St Leonards Festival and many other significant occasions that take place in Hastings.”