Dancing for luck and good fortune

THE beating of the drums started and the lion dancers fall into position. Despite the noonday heat, a small audience gathered taking photos and videos to capture another brilliant, wickedly energetic Chinese traditional dance to welcome the New Year.

Chopsticks were suspended in mid-air as diners at the Gourmet Restaurant in Garapan gaped at the two “lions” with ornately decorated heads and bright eyes trying to squeeze their long bodies into the restaurant, entering every room to bring good luck for the coming year.

The lion dancers prance back outside, performing acrobatic stunts with agile movements before ending the performance by eating the green vegetables hanged outside the restaurant door and spreading the rest of the fresh vegetables at the doorway and inside the restaurant.

Chinese Association of Saipan director Rose Chan said that the vegetables represented good health and life.

For early morning until late last night, the lion dancers of the Chinese Association of Saipan visited several hotels, restaurants and business establishments all the way from Susupe to Garapan and distributed goodies to the children for health and prosperity for the Year of the Rabbit.

Two individuals enact the lion dance. One dancer handles the head while the other holds the tail, and together, they move in a specific rhythm blending with the beating of the drums and the cymbals.

Each year, the lion dancers always amaze the community with their colorful costumes and lively dance moves as they try to mimic a lion’s movements.

“The lion dance has always been a part of the Chinese culture and heritage to wish for good luck and prosperity,” Chan said.

Yesterday, the world witnessed colorful presentations from lion dancers all over the world as the Chinese community welcomed the New Year, summoning luck and good fortune.

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

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