The traditional Chinese dragon dance is the most spectacular dance performed during the Chinese New Year celebration.
One of the traditional folk dances in China is widely distributed throughout the country.
This Chinese folk dance is unique in the world and has also spread to other Western cultures.
Chinese culture believes that dragons are friendly creatures and symbolize strength, good luck, wisdom and longevity and may also be able to make it rain when needed.
People hope that by performing the ancient chinese dragon dance the ghosts will be driven away and the weather will be favoured.
So far, dragon dance remains one of the dance forms that are common at popular festivals along with lion dance.
It represents the Chinese nationalist spirit and also the spirit of development.
It contains the cultural connotation of harmony between man and nature and benefits humanity.
It is a common form of entertainment during the holiday season and is an extremely precious cultural heritage of the Chinese nation.
During the dance, the performers hold the dragon on wooden poles making it go up and down giving the impression that the dragon is balancing to the rhythm of the music exclusively for this dance.
The music of the dragon dance, which is composed of different rhythmic patterns with drums and cymbals.
History of Chinese Dragon Dance
Originally, the Chinese dragon dance history which emerged during the Han dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD), was a ceremony of respect for ancestors and petition for rain to the sky, which later became a recreation. Later, during the Tang (618-907) and Song (960-1279) dynasties, dragon dancing was already very common at New Year’s festivities and other festive events.
Already in the oracles of the Shang dynasty, there were some people who collectively sacrificed dragons for the rain.
In the records of the “Spring and Fall Dynasty” of the Han Dong Zhongshu dynasty, there are clear records that dragons were used to search for rain and also appeared in the dynasty poems.
The dragon is the totem of the Chinese nation and the ancestors of believers, the dragon dance is a symbol of the Chinese spirit.
After more than 2,000 years of development of creative folklore the Chinese dragon dance has a high artistic quality.
Today, the dragon parade is the culmination of the festivities.
The dragon dance, performed at the most prominent festivities of Chinese culture, symbolizes wisdom, power, and wealth, and is said to chase away bad luck.
The dragon, which pursues the “pearl of wisdom” (a sphere mounted on a stick), also symbolizes perception, sharpness and knowledge.
Chinese Dragon Dancers
The chinese dragon dancers are all strong and agile boys and the one holding the head of the dragon must also be endowed with ingenuity and musical sense. They are often practitioners of martial arts such as kung fu.
The dragon will always chase the pearl of wisdom that is handled by the person running in front of him.
The measurements of the dragon can vary between 9, 16 or 19 and 35 meters but there are dragons even up to 100 meters.
The size and length of a dragon will largely depend on the people available as the longer the dragon is, the more people will be needed to move it.
Also the economic power of organizations.
Normally dragons moved by 9 or 10 people are the most widespread.
The dragon dance is represented musically with large drums and saucers and gongs.
The main drum acts as the director because it sets the rhythm that the other members of the band who play the cymbals must follow.
As the main drum plays faster the others have to follow it and in turn the dragon also because it is always coordinated with the rhythm.
Chinese Dragon Dance Videos
In this China dragon dance video in Hong Kong it is appreciated perfectly the number of dancers and how they chase with the dragon the member that goes first taking the pearl. This is chinese new year dragon dance hong kong
In this other video of chinese dragon dance youtube performance you can see different dragon dance teams in a chinese dragon dance competition
Another chinese new year dragon dance hong kong , in this video you can see a nine young dancers.
Another Chinese New Year Dragon Dance Video of Chinese Dragon dance in London: