Lion Dance's Show

This time, i’ll share about Lion Dance to our fellow readers who don’t know about this traditions. It became a tradition to welcome Chinese New Year with this kind of performances. Actually, it is an traditional folk art origin from China, and it supposed to add some fun to the festivities. For some people, it is interesting to see this performances, but some people believe that if well performed, the lion dance is believed to
bring luck and happiness. Ancient people regarded lion as the symbol of braveness and strength, and thought it could drive away the evil and protect the human and livestock. Therefore, performing lion dance became a custom where people can pray for good luck and safety. The lion dance was performed in a group of two to five lions of different colors. Each lion was performed by two men dressed in costumes, with one person wielding the lion head while standing, and the other wielding the lion body and tail while stooping down. These people were called “lion-men” and they danced in tempo to the musical pieces like drum, cymbals, and gong.

During the more than 1,000 years of development, lion dance has developed into two major genres: Northern Lion Dance and Southern Lion Dance. The lion in the Northern Lion Dance looks more friendly, and looks just like the lion that we know. The movement of the dance mainly focuses on the performance of martial lion dance, guided by the lion dancers, the lion writhes, falls forward, jumps and makes a bow, as well as some other highly difficult movements such as walking on wooden or bamboo stakes, jumping over a table, etc.

On the other hand, the Southern Lion is depicted as an animal with a lion’s head. It has two horns and the skin is scaled. One of the legends has it that in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), Emperor Qianlong dreamed about the pilgrim of an auspicious animal in colorful hair on his inspection tour south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River. After his return to Beijing, the capital, the emperor ordered his men to make one according to the image of the auspicious animal he dreamed about. The Southern Lion Dance mainly focuses on the performance of civilized lion dance. The performance attaches much attention to the movements like scratching an itch, shaking the hair, licking the hair and so on.

Nowadays, the Lion Dance mostly performed to bring luck and to ward off evil spirits, as with the beginning of the Lunar New Year and grand opening of businesses, and now – minus the firecrackers – at weddings.

I’ve taken a short video to show you how Lion Dance performed.
Live from my house’s front yard! Enjoy!


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