The Lion Parade
According to traditional Chinese belief, the lion symbolizes courage, stability and superiority and the lion dance is performed to chase away ghosts and evil spirits. Since monsters, ghosts, evil spirits and giants are afraid of loud noises, a natural complement includes firecrackers along with clashing cymbals, gong and drums. In the dance, the lion’s movement has a specific musical rhythm and uses physical gestures to give it a life-like look.
The true purpose of the lion dance is to bring prosperity and good fortune to businesses, shops (and households) so they entice lions to their door. Those visited by the lion will have good luck in the year to come. To reward the lion they do, what is called, ‘picking the green’ (called choy cheng). The green refers to vegetable leaves, usually lettuce. The lettuce is tied to a piece of string with red lucky money envelopes (called lai cee).
To attract the lions to dance at your establishment, a traditional offering is placed in the red lucky money envelope, which funds the Wong Sheung Kung Fu Club, including their maintenance and purchase of lion costumes, drums and firecrackers.
The string, ideally red if available, is hung above the door of the shop/businesses and the lion ‘eats’ the both the lettuce and the red envelope. The lion ‘chews’ the lettuce while the musicians play a dramatic rolling crescendo then spits out the lettuce. This is a symbolic act of blessing by the lion, the spitting out of the lettuce symbolizes that there will be an abundance of everything in the coming year.
If you would like the lions to visit your shop/business, please hang your string with the lettuce (romaine or the leafy green and red leaf lettuce is easier to tie) and the red envelope on your door frame so that the lion knows to come to your door. You will hear them coming with the drum, gong and cymbals playing!
To prevent the theft of your offering. We advise you to not put up your offerings, till the lion is extremely close (when you can hear the drums, gong and cymbals close by). Please put up a visible signage, stating “THE LION BLESSING WELCOME” up by 12PM. If you are not located on the Fisgard or Fan Tan alley route, to ensure your business is not missed!
懸掛起生菜和利是。如果貴店不在 Fisgard 或 Fan Tan Alley路線上，請在中午 12 點之前把“歡迎獅子祝福”的標語張貼在店門的當眼處，以確保我們不會錯過您的商店。