Happy Chinese New Year! This is the year of the Rooster, and 2017 is Fire Rooster year. Element-sign combinations occur every 60 years, and the Chinese believe they affect ones personality and destiny. Fire Roosters are said to be trustworthy, with a strong sense of timekeeping and responsibility at work. According to the Chinese zodiac I am an Earth Pig, no surprises there then! Approximately a fifth of the worlds population celebrate Chinese New Year, also called Spring Festival.
The lion dance is a traditional Chinese dance performed on big occasions, such as Chinese New Year, for good luck, as it is believed that the lion is an auspicious animal. Performed in a lion costume, accompanied by the music of beating drums, clashing cymbals, and gongs, lion dances imitate a lion’s various movements or demonstrate martial arts agility, depending on the style. I have seen a lot of lion dances over the past couple of weeks, they tend to leap about on podiums set at different heights, very acrobatic and skilled, because one forgets that it’s actually two people, I think is rather impressive.
The Dragon is also an important part of Chinese culture and symbolises wisdom, power and wealth, they are believed to bring good luck to people. Unlike the Lions, who are made up of 2 people wearing the costume, Dragons are held up by bamboo poles. They have odd numbers of joints, this is regarded as auspicious, so they are usually nine, eleven or thirteen jointed. Happy New Year!