Chinese Lion Dancing  舞 獅

Lion dancing represents a symbolic and important tradition of the Chinese Culture. The Lion Dance is most commonly seen during festivities such as Chinese New Year, weddings, and opening of new businesses. The significance of the lion dance is that it is believed to bring good luck, prosperity, and happiness to communities.

The lighting of firecrackers is also commonly seen during the ceremony with the belief that it will scare away any evil spirits. The lion dance combines art, history and martial art moves. Normally the performers are Kung Fu practitioners, as lion dancing requires suppleness, flexibility, fitness, strength and good balance.

There are generally two types of Chinese lions, namely, the Northern and Southern lion. The differences lie mainly in the movements of the lions but still the most apparent to the eye is their looks. The Northern lion has a yellow furry coat and a less movable mouth, whereas, the Southern lion has a multi-coloured body (no long hair) and a more movable mouth.

Within the Southern style of lion dance it is further broken down to Hok San (He Shan) and Fut San (Fo Shan) styles. The Hok San lion has a flat mouth whereas the Fut San lion has a rounded mouth.

Through the years, the lion dance has undergone many changes and developments. Today, lion dance plays an important part of traditional Chinese culture. This is simply because the Chinese would like to maintain the tradition created by their forefathers. After over a thousand years of creative thinking and practice, the lion dance is no longer for entertainment; it has become a spiritual form of fulfilment for the Chinese, expressing the optimism, unity and bravery of people.