Home - China Panorama - Dragon and Lion

Dragon and Lion

The people of China have long believed themselves the descendents of the dragon, a tradition that is firmly embedded in their culture. Since China's most primitive times, the Dragon has been seen as the most wonderful and auspicious of creatures, capable of granting great fortune. Portrayals of Dragons have changed as time went by, seeing them become more and more mythical and magnificent each generation. It is well known that a Dragon has a protruding forehead indicating wisdom and antlers signifying longevity. During the performance, performers hold the poles and raise the dragon, starting the grand dance with the beats of roaring drums. Sometimes a man raises a pearl and entices the dragon to follow his rhythm.
The lion is not an indigenous animal of China. However, the lion is also an important Chinese totem, the symbol of power, majesty and courage, capable of warding off evil spirits. In Chinese legend it is said that the lion was the ninth son of the dragon and was the best employable guard, thus it was usually seen in front of royal palaces, offices and residences. The Lion dance is another important tradition in China, usually performed with the dragon dance on auspicious occasions. A good performance is believed to bring luck and happiness. There usually are two performers who play the lion. One, handling the lion's head, leads the dance and shows the lion's emotions. The other plays the body and the tail. They hide themselves under a cloth hide attached with the head.

My Questions *We welcome and appreciate your questions & reviews