The Lion Dance has been popularly exists in the Chinese culture for thousands of years. It is performed on many occasions such as the festive celebrations, extending greeting, house warming, opening ceremony and even on the last day of the funeral wake. The Lion Dance performance is believed to bring blessings, honor, prosperity and good luck.
The Chinese Lion, which are far different from the real ones, is a symbol of protection, authority, wisdom, and good fortune. You can find sculpture of lions place in the frontage of temples, houses and buildings for these purposes.
The Lion Dance is normally performed together with musical ensemble consisting of a large drum, a gong and sets of cymbals. The rhythm is an expression of the mood and movement of the Lion. The loud music is meant to dispel evil spirit to bring good fortune.
In some celebration performance, you may also find 1 or 2 mascot dressed as wearing Buddha with a large head mask and smiley face teasing the Lion.
The highlight of the Lion Dance is known as “Choi Cheng” or “Picking the Green” (direct translate from Chinese). This is done by hanging the lettuce and red packet containing money above the door of the premise. The Lion will perform stunt to reach the “green” and “chew” it. After which, the Lion will split out the leaves which signify abundance wealth from all directions and good fortune in year to come.
Mandarin oranges, a pair of chilli, sticks of sugar cane and other fruits with auspicious meanings are included in the performance during the Lunar New Year. The Lion will “peel” the oranges and use the pedal of the fruits to assemble into patterns as a symbol of blessing or auspicious Chinese character. Coconuts, live crabs and even fish are sometimes used for the performance. Each is supposed to symbolize something auspicious or lucky.
Auspicious dates are chosen for Lion Dance performance to usher a good omen.
For the Year of Dog 2018, these are the auspicious dates for having the Lion Dance performance in your home or office.
Sign to Avoid
|16th February||1st Day||Rooster|
|19th February||4th Day||Rat|
|20th February||5th Day||Ox|
|22nd February||7th Day||Rabbit|
|23rd February||8th Day||Dragon|
|25th February||10th Day||Horse|
|28th February||13th Day||Rooster|