Above: The Lions visit the Plaza Singapura Shopping Centre in Dhoby Gaut, Singapore.
In a nutshell, to chase away evil spirits and monsters like Nian and to bring good luck and fortune during the coming year.
There are two men inside each Lion. One at the head and one at the tail. The music follows the move of the Lion. The Lion has a mirror attached to its head and this is believed to expel negative energy.
The businesses hang a string of green vegetables outside the door. To this is attached a lucky red packet. Usually the businesses have prepaid for the visit by the lions. The dance culminates with the lions ‘eating’ the green vegetables and packet accompanied by a crescendo of drums and cymbals. Then they spit out the chewed up remains. This is a symbolic gesture. The lions are blessing the business with good luck and lots of customers during the new year! In return the lions are rewarded with oranges or tangerines which again symbolise good good luck.
Often the lions leave a Year Date spelt out in orange segments on the floor.
In the video below you can see the climax of the lion dance at Plaza Singapura
Come back tomorrow for more fun when we will be participating in the ‘Yu Sheng’. This is a traditional noodle tossing and great fun. Tastes great too! There’s also a DRAGON!