Friday, December 11, 2009

Tai Shan - Chin Village - Lion Dancing

Lion Dancers were brought in for the celebration. We followed the main procession into the village when we first arrived but missed the initial dancing with the big firecracker display because we were led directly to my father's house in the village to pay our respects (by sin).

These are pictures of the second procession for the main ceremony and dedication of the new building. Our group, along with other donars and dignitaries, sat patiently in the front two rows observing the lion dancers.

The Southern Lion Dance dates back to the Ch'in Dynasty about a thousand years ago.
Lions express joy and happiness and are usually performed by members of Kung Fu schools.

Lion Dances play an important role in the consecration of temples and other buildings, at planting and harvest times, the opening of businesses, and many other official celebrations.

The Dancing with firecrackers is meant to scare off evil spirits, and other dance moves summon good luck and fortune.

The movements are very specific and are initiated by either the person with the lion's head or the drummer in the accompanying band consisting of at least a drum, cymbal, and gong.

Lion Dance troups are usually paid through a ritual dance involving lettuce, or some other green vegetable, and sometimes a beverage. The green has come to symbolize money, or good fortune and red envelopes stuffed with money (lay see) are attached.

My father's name, along with the names of other donars, are all listed on the dedication plaque inside the new building. I'm not sure how much my parents donated on behalf of the family but our names were all engraved on the plaque.

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