Before getting into the heart of the matter, a little focus is needed. Westerners often confuse the lion with the dragon, another big figure in Chinese mythology. But the Chinese dragon is manipulated with about nine people when the lion asks for only two. The dragon’s body would look like the sea serpents of our legends, when to the lions. Before you witness an excellent LED Lion Dance Performance the deal comes with the origin.
Lion Origins And History
There are two kinds of lion. The northern lion, mainly straw yellow, his dress is always composed of long hairs. The southern lion was originally yellow, red or black, but today it is found in all colors. Even though there is no lion in China, he is an honored and respected animal there. But why and how? Why does the Chinese lion look like strange animals?
North Lion, Li Liu Hong School
One night, a traveler returning to his family tells his long journey, he describes the people and animals that he met. This story is probably the origin of these strange lions, probably out of the amenities of storytellers and children. There are dreams that follow these marvelous, almost magical moments. There are several legends sweetening their creation, they are numerous, Buddhist, philosophical, martial; here is one of them that sets up the hypothesis of a dream.
According to legend, the emperor found himself in a dream separate from his own, lost and without food. While he was about to panic, a creature protected him and brought him back to his palace. The next day, wondering what this creature was and what the dream meant, the emperor gathered ministers and soothsayers. One of them explained that the strange creature looked like a western animal described by travelers.
- Since the lion of his dream had saved his life, the emperor ordered to manufacture it to personify it and so thank him. Thus, by saving the emperor on a dreamy night, the lion became a symbol of good luck, happiness and prosperity.
- Another story tells that a lion terrorized the villagers. Not knowing how to protect themselves, they went to seek the help of a Buddhist monk. The latter tamed the lion who became protector of the people.
- One day, NIEN, cruel and fierce creature, attacked the village. The lion fought bravely and wounded the NIEN, who fled but before, swore to come back to take his revenge. A year later he came back, but this time the lion was far away.
The villagers made a lion made of bamboo and tissue paper. Two men crawled inside the suit and approached the NIEN. They pranced, impressing the monster with fighting attitudes as the other villagers screamed and kicked pots and pans. Seeing the lion’s determination and frightened by the commotion around him, the NIEN fled and never came back. Thus, the villagers perpetuated this tradition: every year, they make dance the lion protector, to make flee the NIEN and all the bad spirits. It is accompanied by drum, gong, cymbals and firecrackers.
One can even see the monk, represented by a big Buddha (He was a big pink mask with a big smile): he is the guardian and makes the lion more docile, he wears a fan, which he uses to play and tease the lion.