Sunday, February 10, 2008

Lion Dance

I am back blogging after many days of merry making and celebrating Chinese New Year. I hope you all have a good time too.

These Lion Dance Mascots are part of Chinese New Year decorations of some shops.

Do you know that there are two types of Lion Dances? They are the Northern and Southern lion dance which differs in the appearance of the lion and the performance style.

Northern Lion Dance practised in Beijing, is more acrobatic with the lion balancing on balls and on see-saws whilst being enticed by a pugilist dressed as a 'warrior'. The pugilist teasing the lion uses a fan or a ball and the interplay between him and the lion is the focus of the dance. The Northern Lion evolved from a Mongolian animal puppet placed on a post and paraded during festivals. The Northern Lion is furry with an orange and yellow, woollen coat.

Southern Lion Dance is more popularly performed in Singapore, originated in Guangdong. It involves a less hairy Lion which is taunted by a big-headed clown. They traditionally perform outdoors, the cai qing or literally "plucking the green", referring to the acrobatic act of picking up a sprig of lettuce from as high as three storeys, achieved only by using a pole or forming a human pyramid. The Southern lion has a 'skin' of white/yellow and brown/ black patterns. Whilst the Northern Lion is reputedly fierce, with a serious temperament, the Southern Lion is tame and playful. (Source: http://infopedia.nlb.gov.sg/articles/SIP_57_2004-12-27.html)

9 comments:

Kitem said...

Dearest Alice, Gong Xi Fat Chai, thank you for the translation on my latest post, and also for all your resourceful information, especially this one about the famous Lion Dance, I just love Lion Dance, as soon as I hear the first drum rolling, I rush too see where it comes from, and admire him.

Gordon said...

Your explanation has helped me understand more about the Lion Dance I saw and posted yesterday. Thanks for visiting Adelaide in Photos.

alexander said...

Great! Nice to see the lion dance.
Interesting information about the lion dance. Thanks!

Alexander
Alex's World! - http://www.kakinan.com/alex

J.C. said...

Hi Alice, Gong Xi Fa Cai & Xin Nian Kuai Le!!! I wish you and family a Happy Year of Rat, may all of you be blessed with lots of abundance ~ happiness, good health, friends, wealth & good luck! May all your wishes come true to you in this new year!

Jim said...

Does the top lion have a hand trying to get out of his mouth? He must be the Northern lion.

Andrea said...

Interesting. Such bright colors too.

Joy said...

Have you ever participated in the lion dance? I thought about doing it myself, but I think I'd be exhausted!

Thanks for visiting Norwich Daily Photo. Enjoy your week ahead.

joy
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Old Wom Tigley said...

Fantastic Info.. and all the very best for you and your loved one this new year.

alicesg said...

Thanks so much for all the nice wishes and comments.

Kitem, you are very welcome.

Jim, both lions are the southern lions, the hands belong to the guy holding the lion head and they had to put their hands out of the mouth to "pluck the green" so sometimes he needed to balance the lion head with his head.

Joy, I love lion dance too but doubt I can participated in it cause the lion head is very heavy and no fun being the guy in the back either. You are right about the exhaustion.