Dance lion may miss Chinese celebrations

A DANCING lion may be missing from traditional celebrations to mark the Chinese New Year in Bury St Edmunds.

A colourful lion dance has been part of New Year celebrations at the Canton restaurant in the town for around 20 years.

Thought to bring good luck, the dragon dance is a Chinese custom accompanied by a loud drum and cymbals which are thought to scare away bad or evil spirits.

But the popular tradition may be missing from Bury’s festivities on February 3 as Canton restaurant owner Patrick Chung has been unable to contact the performers.

The Golden Dragon Martial Arts Club in Newton, near Sudbury, have yet to call Mr Chung to discuss this year’s event.

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“We have contacted the club but there is no answer,” Mr Chung said.

“It is just a recorded message.”

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The mystery follows on from an incident last year when Conservative peer Norman Tebbit allegedly kicked one of the club’s performers on the bottom.

Eye witnesses reported Lord Tebbit tried to stop the drumming outside Mr Chung’s restaurant in Hatter Street and kicked a dancing lion on the bottom.

Those present claimed Lord Tebbit, who had recently moved into a �1million town house in nearby Churchgate Street, was concerned about the noise.

“I don’t think that will affect it,” Mr Chung said. “We would like to involve them this year as well.

“It was a bit upsetting but he apologised for the mistake. It’s all very friendly now.”

It later emerged the kung fu student from the martial arts club based in Newton, near Sudbury, had laughed about the incident afterwards.

But if Mr Chung is not able to get in touch with the group, it could be the first year for two decades a dragon has not prowled Bury’s streets to mark the start of the year.

“I am hopeful they will still come but we just have to wait and see,” Mr Chung said. “It will be nice to have the dragon because it helps the atmosphere.”

Mr Chung said he did not believe last year’s events had put the club off from performing the traditional dance this year.

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