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Blessing Businesses on Fraser Street for the Year of the Dragon

Updated: Apr 4

For the past few years, Chau Luen Athletics has been blessing the businesses on Fraser Street for the Sunset on Fraser’s Lunar New Year Lion Dance and Parade. This year, with better weather than when we performed at the 2024 Chinatown Spring Festival Parade, we took to a list of over 25 businesses to bring them good fortune for the Year of the Dragon.

Awakening the lions at Scotiabank

As always, we started at the Scotiabank on Fraser and 49th Avenue. With some honoured guests, including MLAs Michael Lee and George Chow, along with some curious spectators, we dotted the eyes, which is the traditional way of “waking up” our lions.

Scotiabank lion dance by Chau Luen Athletics
Photo credit: Vicky Gao

As with the other banks, we made our way inside to visit each office as a symbol of being blessed with good fortune for the year. Afterward, we tossed the lucky lettuce all over the large crowd gathered inside watching in anticipation – a staple of any choy cheng (採青) performance.

Lion dancers at Scotiabank on Fraser Street, Vancouver
Photo credit: Vicky Gao

Once we were finished, we moved onto the next of our long list of businesses located up and down Fraser Street.

How a choy cheng blessing works

The routine for each store was a traditional choy cheng blessing – our blue lion bowed to the store before eyeing the lettuce, always tantalizingly tied up and just out of reach.

From there, it’d leap up and eat it up before showering the shop owners, raining bright green all over them, symbolizing the wealth and fortune to come.

All of this is in sync with the percussion – the loud noise of the drum, cymbals, and gong are said to drive away the evil spirits and lead the lion along its journey to blessing the businesses.

Practice makes perfect for up-and-coming lion dancers

2024 marked the first time some of our new lion dancers and percussionists were able to perform. Many on the team had been training for months in anticipation for their first lion dance. Most made their debut at the Henderson Place Mall Lunar New Year celebrations, but with helpful feedback from our instructors, they were ready to show how much improvement could be made in just 7 days.

“The first time I performed choy cheng was at Henderson and I was totally nervous about it,” said Chantelle Lui, a rookie lion dancer and member of our all-female team.

“But after getting those jitters out of my system, I was excited for the next round at Fraser Street. Even though it wasn’t perfect, I’ve definitely made some noticeable improvements, and to me, that’s something to be proud of.”

Jonathan Lee, another new member, made his debut leading the percussion team. In this case, he had plenty of experience on cymbals, but had limited reps on drums until he took the sticks on Fraser for his first of 7 stores.

Lion dance drummer in Canada
Jonathan practices his drumming and his best “overly serious” face before the event
I felt like I improved a lot. Our certified lion dance instructor Kyle is also one of our best drummers and gave me some good feedback. I had maybe 4 or 5 stores at Henderson and one big goof-up, but I think I did a lot better today with all the stores I had. None of the lion dancers looked like they wanted to kill me!

All of this practice and feedback from the experienced lion dancers and instructors are sure to be a major confidence booster for our rapidly improving team.

Business blessings aren’t just for the Lunar New Year!

If you’re starting a business in Vancouver, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for your very own business blessing to bring good luck, good fortune, and of course, an awe-inspiring show for any grand opening.

We’ve worked with big names like Salesforce, Ernst & Young, and various levels of government, so a glamorous performance with corporate geniuses isn’t new to us. But don’t be intimidated – we’ve also done blessings for small, local businesses as well.

We’d love to work with you to come up with a bespoke business blessing, fully customized and affordable. We make the process of booking a lion dance easy, so click the button below to get in contact with one of our team members so we can kick off your business in the best way possible.


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