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Lion Dance History & Folklore

Lion is considered in many fables as the “king of the jungle”. It’s body structure, with its mane, gives the physical appearance of majestic, proud stature. As the lion is a natural predator, it possesses the strength and power to hunt, protect its pride and drive away enemies. Like many cultures, the Chinese believes the that the presence and aura of the lion is ominous. As the lion is considered a being sent down from heaven, its divinity, nobility, strength, courage and wisdom presence will drive away evil and bring good fortune.
Lion dance tradition is deeply rooted in Chinese culture for over a thousand years. The dance is performed in various events to liven, increase the pomp of festivities especially during festivals and celebrations. In Toronto, lion dance is very popular during the Chinese New Year seasons. There is no documented records on the origins of lion dance. There are several versions of the tale which have been passed down verbally from past generations to present.

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