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From Lion To Dragon: Aquaria KLCC Brings Dragon For A Swim With Sharks & Turtles This CNY

"Gong SEA Fa Cai", as Aquaria KLCC said it. ;)

Cover image via Javier Torres/DNC & New Straits Times

Since 2009, Aquaria KLCC has been putting on underwater lion dance performances for aquarium visitors to see during Chinese New Year.

And it looks like Malaysians cannot have enough of it.

Last Friday, 17 January, an AFP video of Aquaria KLCC's underwater lion dance performances went viral on Twitter

The one-minute-long video showed a 'lion' treading in the water before walking on the aquarium floor and then performing a full dance. A shark was seen swimming past the 'lion', totally unfazed by the territorial invasion of the land 'animal'.

At the time of writing, the video was retweeted over 6,600 times.

This year, Aquaria KLCC upped its game by incorporating an underwater dragon dance into its Chinese New Year performance

A shark entered the scene amidst the underwater dragon dance performance.

Image via New Straits Times

Aquawalk chief executive officer Simon Foong said the new underwater dragon dance is more challenging than the lion dance as it required more divers to perform, reported Berita RTM.

"The dragon dance is very difficult," said Foong, "(The lion dance) just needs two people to do it, but the dragon dance needs about six people to do it."

During the performance, the dragon will 'swim' in the tunnel of the Living Ocean section, before making its way to the viewing area.

A video by New Straits Times shows the dragon swirling past tiger sharks, blue rays, and gigantic sea turtles as if they were all friends.

It took Aquaria KLCC two months to prepare for the performance, during which they would "soak the dragon" in the aquarium

New Straits Time reported that by soaking the fabric in the seawater, it will allow the marine animals to be familiarised with the dragon and regard it "as a friend, not food".

The team also had to ensure the fabric and props use underwater are chemical-free so that it will not endanger the fish.

According to Malay Mail, these performers are experienced divers who have been working alongside the aquarium for many years.

Below is Acquaria KLCC's CNY performance schedule and its entrance fee:

Last October, Aquaria was opened in Phuket and it features the largest underwater restaurant:

Are you all prepared for CNY? Here are some guides: