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Mark Fulker of Halma PR Services described what (l-r) Avire Managing Director Paul Simmons and Chairman Nigel Trodd are doing in this photo, taken during the opening celebration of the company’s new factory in Shanghai (p. 29):

“They are dotting the eyes of the lions, a ritual to kick off the lion dance to celebrate the opening of a new fac-tory, the arrival of the Chinese New Year or any other im-portant occasion. At the opening ceremony of a factory, the owners of the new premises will use the Chinese tra-ditional brush pens to paint the eyes of the lions. When they paint the eyes, the still and quiet lions gradually come to life.

“After the ‘Dotting of the Eyes,’ the next ritual is ‘Catch-ing the Green.’ Someone hangs a piece of grass very high on a bamboo stick, and the lions jump, one lion even standing on the other, to reach it. Finally, they get the Green and swallow it. And then, the lions reach full vigor and vitality. Then, the lions start to dance.”

Usually, he explained, two men don each lion costume for the show. Toward its end, the lions unfold one or two scrolls of traditional calligraphy, in these cases, congratu-lating the guests on the launch of the new factory. In the finale, the lions walk, gallop and jump around the new premises to bring good luck and good feng shui to the site.

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