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news & events

Jan.31.2015

Robbie Burns & Lunar New Year Celebration (Saturday - starting from 4:00pm)

Bowen Park - 2 lions

 

Feb.14.2015

Nanaimo Chinese Cultural Society New Year Celebration (Saturday @ 4:00pm)

Coast Bastion Inn - 3 lions

 

Feb.19.2015

Lunar New Year Celebration at Great Canadian Casino (Thursday @ 6:00pm)

Downtown Nanaimo Casino - 4 lions

 

Feb.20.2015

Berwick on the Lake Lunar New Year Celebration (Friday @ 6:00pm)

3201 Ross Road - 3 lions

 

Feb.21.2015

Naniamo North Town Centre Lunar New Year Event (Saturday @ 11:00am)

4750 Rutherford Rd. - 4 lions

 

Feb.23.2015

Hong Kong House Restaurant Lunar New Year Celebration (Monday @ 6:00pm)

3023 Barons Road - 3 lions

 

Click here for the details...

CONTACTS

For more information regarding to our Kung Fu & Lion Dance performances, or have interest to know more about our classes, please contact Instructor Jacky Li at:

(250) 797-2387

jacky@hupgingdobc.com

or

li_jacky@hotmail.com

 

Spirit of Lion dance

example graphicThe lion dance has close relations to Kung Fu or Wu​shù​ (武术) and the dancers are usually martial artists of the local kung fu club or school. They train hard to master the skill as one of the discipline of the Southern Chinese martial art. Lion dance is an artistic and powerful Chinese traditional performance which martial artists can contribute to their community.

For example, during the Chinese New Year, lion dancer troupes from the Chinese martial art schools or Chinese guild and associations will visit the houses and shops of the Chinese community to perform the traditional custom of "chai ching" (採青), literally means "plucking the greens", a quest by the 'lion' to pluck the auspicious green normally 'vegetables' like lettuce which in Chinese called 'cái'(菜) that sound like 'cái'(财)(fortune) and auspicious fruit like oranges tied to a "Hung Bao"/"Angpau" or "red packet" containing money; either hang highly or just put on a table in front of the premises. The "lion" will dance and approach the "green" and "Hung Bao" like a curious cat, to "eat the green" and "spit" it out leave it in a nice arrangement, like a auspicious character but keep the "Hung Bao". Lion dance is believed to bring good luck, health, fortune, and prosperity to the business and the audiences. It also symbolize that no matter how difficult the challenge laid ahead, it can be over came with hard work and courage.

Different types of vegetables, fruits, foods or utensils with auspicious and good symbolic meanings; for instance pineapples, pamelos, bananas, oranges, sugar cane shoots, coconuts, beer, clay pots or even crabs can be used to be the "greens" (青) to be "plucked" to give different difficulty and challenge for the lion dance performers. But the difficulties of the challenge should comes with the bigger the rewards of the "Hung Bao" given.

The lion dance sometime along with the dragon dance are also usually performed at many other important grand occasions, including Chinese traditional, cultural and religious festivals, business opening events, birthday celebrations, honor guest welcoming and wedding ceremonies etc.

Origin of Lion Dance

example graphicLion is the king of animal. Though daring and brave, it is not as fierce as we think. Though it looks strong and powerful, it is benevolent and tame. Its heroic outlook makes other animals in fear. Since thousand of years ago, the Chinese respect and impress these qualities and characters of the lion. It status is at par with the symbolic dragon, phoenix and Qi Lin in the Chinese epic.

In actual fact, there is no lion in China. Lion came to China from India though the spreading of Buddhism. From the historical record, lion dance was started during the Han Dynasty. His Majesty Han Wu Ti made commercial ties with the West trough the Silk Road to China. Cultural interaction by means of functions in the palace in welcoming the guest from the West, like dances and songs were performed. During the performance, the dancers were wearing the mask of animals so as to entertain the guest. The guest later discovered that there was no mask of lion. They were told that there was no lion in China later, the traders from the west who were using the Silk Road to China to trade, brought along lions as gift to China. They also brought along their lion trainers. So lion shows, ( I.e : similar to what we see today in circus today. Lion hoping over flaming hoops) take place in China.

There are many stories about the origins of lion dance, here are the three most popular stories about the origin of lion dance:

THE LION AND THE NIAN

A long time ago a fierce creature (*Nian)appeared, which terrefied the villagers. No one could fight the Nian, so in despair the villagers asked the lion to help. The lion attacked the Nian and injuried it, the Nian vowed to take revenge. The Nian did return this time the lion was unable to help, so the people constructed an imitation lion out of bamboo & cloth. 2 men operated the lion while the rest of the people banged there pots & pans. When the Nian saw the lion and heard the commotion it ran away. The Villagers carried on with this tradition every year to scare away evil.

*Nian in Chinese sounds like Year.

THE LION BREAKS THE ELEPHANT FORMATION

During the Sung Dynasty (420-479), the General Zhong Yue led an army south to quell the country of Lin Yi, located somewhere around Laos & Burma. The King of the Country used an "elephant formation" to stop the army's advance. But the general had an idea, having heard that all beasts submit to the lion. He ordered his subordinates to construct imitation lions and put them on the front line. As soon as the elephants saw them they scattered and Lin Yi submitted to the Sung.

THE LION SAVES AN EMPEROR

Legend has it that the Emperor had a dream one night in which he became separated from his army and lost, with no food or drink he began to panic. He then saw a strange looking animal that protected him and guided him back to the palace. the next morning, the Emperor described the dream to his ministers. One minister told the Emperor that the strange animal resembled a creature from the West, the Lion.