Asia House is looking forward to welcoming in the Lunar New Year and delighted to host our traditional annual Lion Dance as we say “Gong Xi Fa Cai!” (“Happiness & Prosperity!”) for the Chinese New Year of the Dog, the eleventh animal sign in the 12 – year cycle of the Chinese Zodiac.
The Lion Dance 舞狮 is a folk-art steeped in Asian tradition. One legend traces it back to the Tang dynasty (618-906 AD) when the emperor had a dream one night in which a strange-looking animal saved his life. The next morning the emperor described the dream to his ministers one of whom told the emperor that his description he gave resembled a lion. Since the strange animal saved the emperor in his dream, the lion quickly became a symbol of good luck throughout China. At Chinese New Year, the dancing lion is believed to chase away evil spirits and bring good fortune and happiness for the year ahead.
The special Lion Dance will be performed by the outstanding Shaolin Fists Lion Dance Troupe from London’s Chinatown, and will start outside the main doors of Asia House and wind its way through the building to the beats of drums, cymbals and a gong. During the dance, the lion will pick up five lucky oranges en route, before chewing and spitting out the sang coi or raw vegetable – two symbolic foods in Chinese culture.
This event will include adding wishes to a tree and origami (paper-folding activities) for tiny tots and children.
The 2018 Lion dance is generously sponsored by Christopher Seow of Reflections of The Lord Mayor, City of London.
Free Entry – Open to all, however, registration is necessary.