The Lion Dance is one of the most popular dances in China. Known as the king of animals, the lion is a traditional symbol of good luck in China. The dance has a long history stretching back 2000 years. Records show that during the Tang Dynasty (618-907), the Lion Dance was already performed for the royal family.When is the Lantern festival occassions, people often organize lion dance to add to the fun. If well performed, the lion dance is belived to bring luck and happiness.
Chinese New Year During the Chinese New Year, groups of lions perform from door to door at residences or offices. The lion performance the “Picking the greens” 菜青 to usher an auspicious new year. The lion during such performances are also associated with Nian 年, the mythical creature who is frightened away with firecrackers and red color during the Chinese New year.
Welcoming a VIP The Lions are often invited to welcome a VIP or guest of honor at a banquet or meeting. When the drum or gongs start playing, it signals the approach of the VIP. The lion dance performance begins when the VIP alights from his car or appears at the front gate. The lions accompany the VIP from the arrival point to the VIP table or the stage. Such welcome ceremonies are used in both traditional occasions as well as by corporations to give foreign visitors an interesting and unique experience.
Ground breaking ceremony /Opening ceremony Lion dance performances are also found at ground breaking ceremonies of buildings and institutions. The performances create a joyous mood for an important and significant occasion.In this function, lion dances witness and usher many important occasions and events of a society.
Festive /religious events During major religious events, lion dance performances are arranged for ritual purposes and also to create a festive and joyous mood. These events quickly attract people around the area especially tourists and children to enjoy the performance. In Chinatowns around the world, the lion dance is always associated with Chinese New Year celebration.See also, Lion dance, firecrackers during Dragon Boat Festival in Bintan,Indian.
Public performance Lion dance groups are also invited to performance at tourist destinations or night markets. Lion dance performances are very effective in drawing crowds and in creating a festive or joyous mood since performances are often associated with happy events.