Friday, 8 February 2008

two hours of The Lion Dance with non-stop music!!!!!

The Lion Dance was performed at The Jade Condo - where we live - this morning from 10.00am till 12 noon. I have attached photos in the previous two posting's seen below.

Business enterprises often call upon a lion dance troupe to perform at the commencement of something important. It's a Chinese tradition. (There used to be firecrackers too, but they're banned by the Singapore government as a hazard to the public. So much for tradition.) You find a lion dance performed when a new branch or shop is opened. You see lots of them in the days following Chinese New Year, when shops and factories re-open for business after the holidays. The businessmen want to make sure they give an auspicious start to the new trading period.

Lion dance can be broadly classified into two main categories: traditional and free-style.

The traditional lion dance follows an established set of routines while free-style lion dancers have the liberty to create their own routines – such as performing stunts on metal stilts that can go as high as three metres.

During Chinese New Year, most performances are variations of the traditional style.

The most sought after performance during the festive period is known as “plucking the green.”

Typically, a green leafy vegetable is either hung in the air or placed on the ground for the prop lion to “pluck” and “devour.” Mandarin oranges are placed on the ground for the lion to “devour” as well.

After the lion has “devoured” the vegetable and the oranges, it usually lays on the ground. The performer playing the rear of the lion would have to peel the mandarin oranges and arrange the orange slices to form auspicious Chinese characters. The performer at the rear would then pass the peeled orange skins to his partner playing the head.

Following that, the performer playing the head would then tear the orange peel and vegetable into small pieces and throw them out of the lion’s mouth for a total of three times. As this is considered to be an auspicious ritual, some people refrain from immediately clearing away the pieces of orange skin and vegetable to prevent sweeping away of good luck.

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