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Lion, dragon dancers wow crowd in early Chinese New Year festivity

Lion and dragon dancers
Lion and dragon dancers strut with their movements in a string of performances to cap its early Chinese New Year celebration on Wednesday until 8 in the evening in this city. (VILL GIDEON VISAYA)

TUGUEGARAO CITY – Lion and dragon dancers strut with their movements in a string of performances at the SM City Tuguegarao and Downtown malls, capping its early Chinese New Year celebration on Wednesday until 8 in the evening in this city.

The student-performers swayed like real lions and dragons as they presented the traditional dance, a common event in Chinese culture and other Asian countries in which performers mimic a lion’s movements in a costume to bring good luck and fortune. The dancers later made rounds at establishments and were graciously given ampaw or red envelopes with cash gifts.

“Take it from me. This is the best-ever performance that I have seen on lion and dragon dances this year. If last year was superb, this is excellent,” watcher Maria Gloria Gragasin, 20, said.

The Chinese lion dance was played by two dancers, one of whom manipulates the head while the other forms the rear end of the lion, for each lion head. To show the courting and mating periods, two lion heads performed during the affair. Lion dance’s basic movements can be traced in Chinese martial arts and performed to a dynamic drumbeat.

Lion and dragon dancers

Believed to bring good luck to people, the Chinese dragon dance culture believed that the longer the dragon is in the dance, the more luck it will bring to the community.

Just like with the lion dance, dragon dance is believed that the performances symbolize great power, dignity, fertility, wisdom and auspiciousness.

The dragon dance is being performed by many people who hold the long sinuous body of the dragon on poles. It is played by a team of experienced dancers who manipulate a long flexible giant puppet of a dragon using poles positioned at regular intervals along the length of the dragon. The dance team simulates the imagined movements of this river spirit in a sinuous, undulating manner.

The lion dance is usually performed during the Lunar New Year and other traditional, cultural and religious festivals. It is also be performed at important occasions such as business opening events, special celebrations or wedding ceremonies, or may be used to honor special guests by the Chinese communities. (VILL GIDEON VISAYA)

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