WS K88

WS K88
Erich's new place where different things will happen, but still the center of the universe and the navel of the world

Sep 30, 2007

"The Day After"- actually "The Fridays After"... Harald left

As suspected and mentioned in a previous posting businesses went down in Chinatown after Harald left Singapore. Empty stalls all over the place. The ones suffering the most are Tiger and Erdinger. We are trying hard to compensate their losses. It's tuff though.

Check out the pix, but apologies for the poorer image quality.

One guy only? Very unusual!

Just kidding!

A few minutes after the photo was taken Erich's stall was full as usual. Seems a new big group is holding its Friday after work meetings here.
We'll find out who these guys are soon. They seem to talk in mixed funny accents however they love Erich's 'Leberkaese' and Erdinger Bier from Sawasdee coffee shop.

Sep 29, 2007

Chinatown's Lantern and Mooncake Festival

The moon cake and Lantern festival is finally over.
Chinatown was beautifully decorated and attracted the most crowds ever. This festival is becoming so popular that it starts competing with masses turning out to Chinatown during Chinese New Year.

Set up stalls selling everything from religious items to lanterns and most important in Singapore, of course FOOD.

Around the temple huge lanterns symbolizing the Chinese zodiacs were displayed.
Long queues in front of renown mooncake bakeries.

A downturn that I think needs to be addressed as well:

One thing the organizers really have to look into is how to control greedy stall owners to take up more space than allocated. Many of them are moving their displays so close to the centre of the already narrow walkways causing bottlenecks and sometimes even dangerous human traffic jams which leaves everyone unhappy.
Stall owners complaining about not having enough business!! And more unhappy visitors because they cannot enjoy strolling through nicely decorated Chinatown.

To see the full photo album click the photo below:
Mooncake and Lantern Festival 07

The Mid-Autumn, Moon Cake or Lantern Festival

The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the two most important holidays in the Chinese calendar (the other being the Chinese Lunar New Year). It falls on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month of the Chinese calendar (usually around mid- or late-September in the Gregorian calendar). In 2007 it was celebrated on the night before full moon (September 25).
Farmers celebrate the end of the farming year and an abundant harvesting season. Traditionally, on this day, Chinese family members and friends will gather to admire the bright mid-autumn harvest moon and eat moon cakes and pomeloes together. The children would go out at night carrying bright lanterns.2 Girls with lanterns in cold Mainland China
In locations such as Singapore, Malaysia or Hong Kong it is also known as the Mooncake or Lantern Festival. Several interesting legends are connected with this festival but, basically, the mooncakes signify unity and a cycle completed.
Typical mooncakes are round or rectangular pastries, measuring about 10 cm in diameter and 4-5 cm thick. A thick filling usually made from lotus paste is surrounded by a relatively thin (2-3 mm) crust and may contain yolks from salted duck eggs.

Mooncakes are rich, heavy, and dense compared with most Western cakes and pastries. They are usually eaten in small wedges accompanied by Chinese tea.
Nowadays moon cakes with Baileys, Champagne, Truffles, Marzipan and even Durian fillings are offered by renowned 5 star Hotels and sold in stalls all over in town. It seams to be a big competition who can bake the best and most interesting mooncake.
Also the lanterns have changed. In ancient times they were fairly simple made of paper, for only the emperor and noblemen had large ornate ones; in modern times, lanterns have been embellished with many complex designs. For example, lanterns are now made of plastic and in shapes of animals.
Some of the displayed "lanterns" were up to 12m high.

Sep 24, 2007

Liondance performance at Erich's

Following this old tradition Erich held his official opening ceremony for the new Backstube and the extended Wuerstelstand on Sunday 23. September with a huge crowd of his friends, customers and passer-bys cheering together with the cymbals and drums of the lion dance group.
You may like it or not this sometimes very annoying noise of the cymbals and gong following the moves of the lion, however it's supposed to ward off bad-spirits and bring good luck to both ventures.

Since Erich is the proud sponsor of one lion with the name "Wuerstelstand", it was "his" lion who did the performance. Watch the name around the lion's neck.
Check out the photos of the event:
See the lion's name: Wuerstelstand"

If you want to see more photos click this photo to connect to our web album

Lion Dance @ Wuerstelstand

Next for the lions is the Backstube

After a break to ease human traffic congestion and allow other people to watch the spectacle the lion dancer group assembles in front of the Backstube. Immediately people were trying to get best spot for viewing the dance performance.

The lion sniffing around the offerings, vegetable and fruits. To finally swallow it and spit out the shell again.

Linda, Erich's successful baker and business partner, enjoying the dance with her son.

Another rousing applause ended the lion dance at the Backstube.
The audience was wishing Erich continuous good luck and success in his business. However it's not all about luck there's also a huge portion of very hard work and long business hours needed to be as successful as Erich and his team. Congratulations from our Stammtisch!

If you wish to see all photos of this event, click the photo below
Lion Dance @ Backstube

Sep 22, 2007


The Chinese Lion Dance goes back some one thousand years. The first record of the performance of an early form of the Lion Dance dates to the early Ch’in and Han Dynasties (Third Century B.C.)
If well-performed, the lion dance is believed to bring luck and happiness.
The lions express joy and happiness. The busiest time for the lion dancers is traditionally Chinese New Year. From the fourth day to the fifteenth of the New Year, lion dance groups would tour from village to village in traditional China.
The Lion Dance also plays an important role in the consecration of temples and other building, at business openings, planting and harvest times, official celebrations, and religious rites.
During these ceremonies for opening of new businesses Lion dancers will visit the store front of the business to "choy chang" (採青 lit. picking the greens). The business would tie a red envelope filled with money to a head of lettuce and hang it high above the front door. The lion will approach the lettuce like a curious cat, consume the lettuce and spit out the leaves but not the money. The lion dance is supposed to bring good luck and fortune to the business and the dancers receive the money as reward. Other types of "greens" (青) may also be used to challenge the troupe, for instance using oranges. The orange will be pealed and laid out as a chinese characters. People are trying to read the meaning and usually play the figures the “read” in lotteries hoping to win the big price.

Lion Dance: Bringing luck and happiness (some historical facts)

The lion dance is an important tradition in China. Usually the dance is part of festivities like Chinese New Year, the openings of restaurants and weddings. If well-performed, the lion dance is believed to bring luck and happiness.

Although lions are not native in China, they came to this country via the famous Silk Road. Rulers in what is today Iran and Afghanistan sent lions to Chinese emperors as gifts in order to get the right to trade with Silk Road merchants. The lion dance dates back to the Han Dynasty (205 B.C. to 220 A.D in China) and during the Tang Dynasty (716-907 A.D.) it was at its peak. It was particularly performed during religious festivals. The lion dance was not only introduced in China, but also in Korea and Taiwan, where lions are not native as well. The dances are not exactly the same in these countries, but the symbolism is quite similar.

The lion is enacted by two dancers. One handles the head, made out of strong but light materials like paper-mache and bamboo, the other plays the body and the tail under a cloth that is attached to the head. The 'animal' is accompanied by three musicians, playing a large drum, cymbals and a gong. A Little Buddha teases it with a fan or a giant ball. The head dancer can move the lion's eyes, mouth and ears for expression of moods.
The lion dance combines art, history and kung fu moves. Often the performers are kung fu practitioners. Every kind of move has a specific musical rhythm. The music follows the moves of the lion: the drum follows the lion, the cymbals and the gong follow the drum player.

Quite often people observing the dances think that they are looking at dragons. The main difference between lion dance and dragon dance is that the latter is performed with more people than two.