The Chinese Southern Lion Dance

The Chinese Southern Lion Dance

City: Foshan

About: The Chinese Southern Lion Dance is a sports activity combining kung fu (or martial art) with art performances. It originated from Foshan. Far back in the early Ming Dynasty (1368-1644A.D.), there has been skillful craftsmen specialized in the production of lions, gongs, drums and cymbals for the dance. It is often seen during festivals or at the time of major celebrations, which is quite common across Guangdong and Guangxi provinces.

The Chinese Southern Lion Dance is performed vigorously with power in moves and strength in posture like martial art, accompanied by passionate drumming. Lion dance troupes will  perform the traditional custom of "cai qing", literally meaning "plucking the greens", whereby the lion plucks the auspicious green vegetables like lettuce either hung on a pole or placed on a table in front of the premises. The "lion" will dance and approach the "green" and "red envelope" like a curious cat, to "eat the green" and "spit" it out but keep the "red envelope" which is the reward for the lion troupe. In mimicking the lion's various expressions and moves, the performers have presented to the spectators a lifelike and agile “lion” in the spectacular dance.

In recent years, Chinese Southern Lion Dance is developing rapidly and getting more difficult to perform. It is also getting more popular among the viewers and has become an event in international competitions.

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