Lion dancing is an important tradition originating in China. There are many different origins for it, one legend telling the story of the Jade Emperor cutting off the lion’s head and sending it to Earth due to its mischief, but the Goddess of Mercy, Guan Yin revived it by tying its head to its body with a ribbon, making it promise that it would frighten evil spirits and never eat meat.
Another story is the legend of the Nian, a monstrous beast that would come out during the New Year’s Eve and terrorize the villagers. But one day a lion showed up and scared it away. It came back again, but the villagers dressed up and pretended to be the lion, scaring it away.
The last story I know of is about the Emperor having a nightmare one night. In the dream, he was in danger but was saved by a mysterious creature. After describing it to his ministers, one of them told the Emperor it was a lion, an animal from the West. Since then, the lion became a symbol of good luck in China, scaring away evil spirits, with its horns as weapons and a mirror to frighten the demons.
There are different alterations to each of these stories, and I am sure there are a few completely different ones too, however this is as much as I know of.
More info regarding Lion Dancing
Travis Hui - A second year Computer Engineering major who is our Cultural Coordinator for the 2017-2018 year.