Lion dance: Keeping a cultural identity on Tet holiday

Nga Do
New Year lion dance is an interesting activity with some meaningful and prosperous wishes as Honeysuckle congratulated Professor, second Ganoderma grass, Lan sucking carp gold.

Lion Dance is a folk art originated from China, was born more than 1,500 years ago. According to the footprint of the United settle on new lands including Vietnam.

Art unicorn dance performances often appear in various festivals, symbolizing prosperity, prosperous, happy and everything in favorable years.

Lion dance: Keeping a cultural identity on Tet holiday 1

Style oldest dance is dancing unicorn. First there are 3 main types unicorn: describe the formation, the formation of aggressive tiger image. Small loudness of his head and phosphate phosphorus depending on the size of the dragon dance. But the scale design, materials, aesthetics depends on the financial capacity of the organization.

Lan brought many countenances: White, yellow, red, blue, black. The three most popular lion head is white, red and black. Three head lion dance often together, symbolizing the “Taoyuan twinning” is Lan yellow face, white beard (Liu Bei), Lan red face black beard (Quan Van Truong) and nearby black face, black beard (Zhang Fei ).

Lion dance: Keeping a cultural identity on Tet holiday 2

In the process of performing a lion dance, drumming plays a key role. When unicorn dancing: beat fast, easy litmus: slow drum rhythm, sleep easy: beat sparse and light, easy to wake up: throbbing drum beats, easy pass obstacles and grab the flag, grab the money in his mouth: drumming fast , reliable, continuously … He can address a very important role and easy to impress as local movements hello, do not address, took place nearby.

According to ancient Vietnamese history, the unicorn made its first appearance about 600 AD. The unicorn, like the dragon, is a mythological animal and tradition has it that wherever a unicorn appears, people will have peace, happiness and prosperity.

The unicorn ( Ly or Lan ) is an incredible animal invented by Sino-Vietnamese imagination. The unicorn brings to mind the English griffin; it is represented with the body of an antelope, the feet of a horse, and the tail of a buffalo; and on the head of the male unicorn, there is a single horn, the extremity of which is covered with an excrescence of flesh. The unicorn is considered as the symbol of intelligence and goodness, and appears only on very special occasions.

Lion dance: Keeping a cultural identity on Tet holiday 3

Today Unicorn or Lion dance is a joyful entertainment at the Tet festival in Vietnam. The Unicorn is the symbol of powerfulness and prosperity. Well-to-do families use to set prize money and invite the Unicorn Dance team to come and dance in front of their house for entertainment and also as the first caller to their house on the New Year’s Day.

There are two varieties of the Vietnamese version. In North Vietnam, it is called the Lion’s dance and it is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Lunar Year, sometime around autumn. In South Vietnam, the Unicorn dance is held only during the Tet holidays. The techniques are similar, although the traditional procession varies a little between the two zones. The North Vietnamese lion comes out at dusk and is accompanied by a group of youngsters with different shaped paper lanterns suspended on long poles. The lanterns take the shape of various animals like rabbits, dragons and fish or they may appear like multi-winged stars. However, through time, nowadays, Lion dance can also be observed during the Tet season.

Lion dance: Keeping a cultural identity on Tet holiday 4

Several men take turns handling the unicorn. They wear tight uniforms of various colors which are often identified with a particular locality where the dance takes place. Each unicorn group covers a well-defined area and they do not trespass on each other’s territory. In Saigon, the unicorn procession begins early in the morning on the first day of Tet. It systematically visits every home and shop in its area. As soon as it appears in front of a house, the place swarms with children and onlookers. First, the drums and cymbals sound a salute to the occupants of the house. The unicorn stoops down, bends its head several times before the entrance door, then steps back to repeat the same gesture five or six times before beginning the dance.

Photo by collect on the internet.

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