The Dragon and the Lion

Chinese New Year finished over two weeks ago but memories of elaborate celebrations still linger.  During the holiday we saw some agile traditional dancers sporting fantastic costumes. Andy took some beautiful photos that I would like to share.

The first performance we saw was a dragon dance in front of the Forum Shopping mall on Orchard Road.  In this dance, a team of people carried the representation of a colorful beast on poles.  The men moved in a fluid, undulating manner to the beat of drums.  The dragon was constantly pursuing a ball which may represent the chase for wealth or wisdom.

The dragon was given a gift of oranges and a flurry of confetti was released at the completion of the animals run.

After the dragon finished, it was the lion’s turn to run.  The Lion Dance has been part of Chinese culture for over a thousand years.  This tradition is preformed with a pair of dancers in one costume.  The men inside are trained acrobats who replicate the motions of a single animal.

Children look on at a celebration in our apartment lobby

Sometimes one performer will stand on top of another.  The ceremony starts when the dancers try to reach some  hanging lettuce which has a “hongbao” (red envelope) filled with money to bring forth prosperity and good fortune in the next year.

The 'Lions' are holding these elaborate signs.

At our apartment lobby two creatures were accompanied by a ‘big headed buddha’ who herded them around the spectators.

The lions eat oranges and candies and shower the gifts back at the spectators.  The children loved getting treats from the lions mouths.

We all very much enjoyed our close encounters with these fantastic elaborate creatures.

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