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Hey guys! Today was an interesting and exciting day- I got to go check out the Chinese New Year festivities, specifically the Lion Dancing, at Yaohan Centre! This was my first time ever seeing a traditional Lion Dance performance and it was just killer! I wasn’t alone either! Among the flocks of people that came out to see the show was Mayor Malcolm Brodie, a large group of city council members, a couple VIPs, and even the Chinese God of Fortune. (The crazy guy at the beginning of the video!) He was awesome! Everyone was out to enjoy the firecrackers and festive dances!
Yaohan Centre Mall Google map:
If you’re not familiar with what a lion dance is, it’s a traditional Chinese performance where two people mimic a lion’s movements in a costume. It is very often mistaken for a Dragon Dance, however you can always tell because two people perform a lion dance and their faces are always obscured. (it takes several, unobscured people, to perform a Dragon Dance!) These dances have been a part of Chinese culture for thousands of years and are usually performed on special occasions such as weddings, store openings, and other various festivals and celebrations! (like the New Year!) The Chinese believe the lion stands as a symbol of power, wisdom, and good fortune, chasing away evil spirits. Having held the dance in Yoahan Centre, it is a celebration to bring prosperity and good luck to businesses for the upcoming year!
The dance itself was very cool to watch, and had definite kung-fu influences in the movements and footwork. Dancing rhythmically to the beat of giant drums and a gong, the performers jumped and leaped among 5-6 foot platforms raised off the ground. It was a phenomenal performance to watch and really had the crowd enthused. The amount of strength and endurance these guys had, combined with the limited vision of the costume, really spoke of their skill and talent.
I was super impressed with the performance and will be checking out another one tomorrow (Feb. 6th) at 11:00AM in Aberdeen Centre as Richmond’s Chinese New Year festivities continue! If you’re in the area, get down there and check it out! Come say hi to me, too!