As a symbol of good luck, the lion dance is one of the most common features of various celebrations in Singapore. There are several troupes available in Singapore- that you can book from, on occasion is like Chinese New Year, inaugurations or opening of new offices or stores all around the year.
The Lion Dance Singapore has a rich traditional and historical value. The questions now pop out that
What is the dance form all about?
Why is it considered to be highly auspicious?
Let us dig up a little to know about the dance form
What is a lion dance?
A lion dance is performed by 2 individuals generally men. These artists are dressed in a costume of a lion- dancing over the beat of the drums played by other individuals. These artists tend to show their deftness and expertise as they prance around trying coordinating one another in order to bring down the symbols like a couplet or a vegetable as a sign of good luck.
The Lion dancers are generally grouped in schools like martial arts and more. The dance is all about showcasing the skills and expertise of the dancer performing the art. Also, the dance form is an art that needs a professional level training and years of practice in order to achieve perfection.
Origins of the Dance form
There are a number of beliefs and myths about the lion dance and its origin goes far back to the Han Dynasty.
However, according to some, it all started from a NIAN a monster. Nian liked kidnapping small children and terrorized several villages’ years over years. Then finally, a lion defeated Nian and chased him away. Bruised Nian vowed to return back as he was quite certain that the lion would be gone away. Then the villagers chased Nian by creating the costume that resembled the lion. According to the myth, it is believed that loud noises of the drum and firecracker outwitted Nian and chased him away.
Whereas, another myth says that there was a monk who managed to tame a monster by tying him with a red ribbon around its waist. From that time onwards, the beast acted as a guardian and started protecting the village.
The Dos and Do not: While watching a Lion Dance Singapore:
- Try to take a few notes of important guidelines when watching a lion dance performance.
- Try not to tap or to fumble the back of the lion dancer. As this might cause the dancer to become a little distracting. Plus, the back of the lion can also be the butt of the dancer.
- Try not to touch the horns or mirrors on the costumes. As these mirrors tend to fight against the evil spirit and are considered to be pure. Therefore interfering with them can be considered as bad omen or inauspicious.
- Never distract a lion by jumping over them. It is considered bad and disrespectful because the lion is a symbol of guardians.
- Try to enjoy the performance to the fullest and always give a huge appreciation when the performance is over.
We hope you liked our article about the lion dance and related traditions! What is your experience with a lion dance performance and other Chinese traditions? Let us know in the comments below.