One of the most fascinating aspects of attending a Chinese wedding is watching the lively Lion Dance. Despite dating back more than 2,000 years, this ancient tradition is still an important part of the blessings bestowed upon the newlywed couple.
Although the lion is not a familiar sight in China, the powerful feline holds mystical powers in the Asian culture. It is believed that certain evil spirits, intent on wrecking havoc and heartache, are scared of the unknown creature.
The lion dance, an art form that seamlessly melds martial arts, discipline and creativity into an impressive display of artistry, is performed at all joyous occasions. From weddings to New Year celebrations, the Choy Cheng is offered as a symbol of good luck and prosperity. Most often, the dance is performed between the cocktail hour and dinner or during the wedding feast.
During and after the dance, the newlyweds are presented with symbolic presents to help them along their upcoming journey. Golden Mandarin oranges are given as a sign of prosperity while bamboo represents strength and longevity.
If you have not had a chance to personally witness a lion dance, your city may have special performances coming up to celebrate the Chinese New Year. This year’s festivities fall on February 10, 2013, to honor of the Year of the Snake.