Chinese New Year Nights Out – Seeing a “Lion Dance”

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Celebrating the New Year with a Royal China restaurant Special Event…. Read On…

 

Chinese New year 2015 at Royal China (3)

Free Traditional Lion Dance Performances at Royal China Restaurants

To celebrate Chinese New Year, Royal China restaurants will be offering guests the chance to experience one of the most powerful and entertaining traditions of the festivities – a live ‘Lion Dance’ which is thought to bring good luck.

The Lion Dance will take place at the following branches of Royal China at 7.30pm.  Early booking is advised to avoid disappointment.

·         Baker Street: 20 February and 25 February 2015

·         Queensway: 23 February 2015

·         Canary Wharf: 24 February 2015

·         Harrow on the Hill: 27 February 2015

·         Fulham: 28 February 2015

 

What is a Lion’s Dance?

The lion dance originated in China close to a thousand years ago. There are different variations of the lion dance in other Asian cultures.  So to see one version is to not see them all.

Lion dances can be broadly split into two styles, Northern (北獅) and Southern (南獅). Northern dance was used as entertainment for the imperial court. The northern lion is usually red, orange, and yellow. The northern dance is acrobatic and is mainly performed as entertainment. Sometimes, they perform dangerous stunts.

The Southern dance is symbolic. It is  performed as a ceremony to scare away the evil spirits.This is to summon good luck and fortune.

The Southern lion exhibits a wide variety of colour and has a distinctive head with large eyes, a mirror on the forehead, and a single horn at center of the head.

 

The Myth – The Lion dance is often confused with the Chinese Dragon Dance, which features a team of around ten or more dancers. The Lion Dance usually consists of two people.

Chinese_New_Year_Lion_Dance

 

There are three types of lions:

  • the golden lion –  representing liveliness
  • the red lion –  representing courage
  • green lion – representing friendship.

 

This is the Hong Kong Variant on the dance.

This is the Hong Kong Variant on the dance.

 

Random Fact –

During the Chinese New Year, the lion dancers from martial art school will visit the store front of businesses to “choi chang”.  The businesses would tie a red envelope filled with money to a lettuce head. It would be hung high above the front door.

The lion will approach the lettuce like a curious cat, consume the lettuce and spit out the leaves but not the money. The lion dance is to bring good luck and fortune to the business and the dancers receive the money as reward. The tradition becomes a mutual transaction.

Nice little benefit..

 

Table at Royal China

 

Eating a Meal and having a live “Lion Dance” – sounds good to us. Wish we could go…

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Assistant Editor for Erisea. Lover of all things Geeky and otherwise. Feel free to say hello - @Dresdenfalls

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