Saturday, March 5, 2011

Lion Dance

Related Post: Chinese New Year

I'm following up on my Chinese New Year post earlier this week with a little more about the Lion Dance. Thanks go to our friends Jenny Ru and Jeff Kind in Palos Verdes Estates for including us in this fabulous event, and kudos to the lion performers who danced through the crowd, negotiating stairs, party guests, doorways, and furniture while operating the lion's head, eyes, jaw, and limbs from inside the full two-man costume.

History of the lion dance: The story goes that once upon a time a monk had a dream in which there were many sorrows and evils plaguing the land. The monk prayed and asked the gods how he could prevent these evils from occurring. The gods told him that a lion would protect them and fight back the evils. The Chinese people had never see a lion before, but had heard stories that the lion was the king of all the other animals, so the monk combined all the lucky or magical animals he could think of and so made a lion.

If you look closely at any lion, you can see a red sash tied on its horn. It is told that the lion was disrespectful to the Jade Emperor. This of course caused the Jade Emperor to get very angry, so as a punishment he chopped off his horn (The source of his life) and the lion died. The Goddess of Mercy (Guan Yin) felt bad for him so she tied his horn back on with a red sash with golden leaves and chanted to he lion and he came back to life. And there - with a nod to Wikipedia for helping us out with the historical details - you have it.

Related Post: Chinese New Year

--The Daily Fitchett, 2/26/11.





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