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Chinese New Year Dragon Dance

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Chinese New Year Dragon Dance showcases the best of Chinese traditions and customs. For centuries, Chinese have shown great belief and respect towards dragon. The people of China have faith in a long held belief that they are descendents of the dragon, an age old conviction which is firmly embedded in their customs and traditions. Whereas in western cultures dragons are usually regarded as a symbol of scare and malevolence, in China the dragon is held in high esteem for its supernatural power, goodness, fertility, vigilance and poise.

The most exciting and spectacular way of expressing gratitude for the dragon is the dragon dance. From a ritual rain dance to a popular entertainment performed during the Chinese New Year, the dragon dance has come a long way. The Chinese New Year dragon dance symbolizes the bringing of good luck and success in the coming year for all the human beings on earth.Dragons are considered as the governors of rainfall. In China, where the majority of people depend on agriculture for their livelihood, the timely arrival of rains is a necessity. The legends say that the dragon dance was first performed as a means of appeasing the "Dragon King" into releasing rain onto the drought stricken lands of the farmers.

Dragon dance is an integral element of Chinese New Year celebrations. The New Year in Chinatown ends with the lantern festival on the fifteenth day of the month. In many areas the best part of the lantern festival is the dragon dance.


In the dragon dance, a team of dancers carry the image of dragon on poles. The lead dancers of the troupe lift, dip, thrust, and sweep the head which may display animated features controlled by a dancer. The dance troop mimics the supposed movements of this winged spirit in a wicked and undulating manner. Musical accompaniment is often supplied in the form of musicians with traditional drums, cymbals and gongs. In China dragons are not just winged creatures portrayed in the ancient mythologies but an entity deeply embedded in the soul and heart of every Chinese. And the excitement surrounding the dragon dance proves every bit of the belief. It is considered that the longer the dragon, the more luck it will bring to the society. As a result, Chinese communities make every effort to have very long dragons dancing during the New Year.

 

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