The Chinese also display the significance of the dragon through movement. To watch these dragon dances is as inspiring as it is intriguing. Mostly observed during festivities at certain times of the year, the movements of this dance reflect the Chinese culture and the commemoration of a new year.
The origins of this unique art form can be traced back to the descendants of Shennong. The legendary individual who rose to become the first king to rule over China is also responsible for teaching them medicine, law and agriculture along with the Chinese dragon dance tradition.
Truly a spectacle to behold, the dragon dance involves more of a unity of movement than an individual motion. Beneath the dragon a group of people is formed with well proportioned space from each other working together in procession. The movement they create reflects the motion of a Chinese dragon.
Of course everything the Chinese people do is saturated in customs and traditions. The Chinese dragon dance is no different. The motions which comprise the dance are reflective of ancient Chinese legends. The dance itself is representative of strength and pride in the Chinese culture. The Chinese dragon dance can be observed by anyone around the globe where Chinese New Year festivities are taking place.
Certainly when one considers the dragon’s significance to the Chinese people; it is understandable why the dragon would be the focal point in any Chinese celebration. Viewed by the Chinese as a lucky charm, it also denotes fruitfulness. Many of its other characteristics such as strength, pride, and supremacy are considered valuable qualities of this much loved and benign creature.
The dragon dance was patronized during the Han Dynasty. It was a way of revering the image of the dragon which held a special place in Chinese mythology. The dance began amongst the farming class who would perform it as a means of warding off evil in general and diseases in particular from their harvests and homes. They would also perform the dance on various festivals.
The symbolic meaning of the Chinese dragon is truly fertile as is the concept of the dragon itself. It grew into existence from a combination of dissimilar features from various other living creatures. Therefore, creating a remarkable being of uniquely distinctive design.
The distinctive elements used to create this creature are from ordinary animals; the ears of male cattle, the eyes of a hare, the horns of a male deer, and the paws of a large fierce striped feline and the scales from aquatic life forms. Its body is indicative of a wavy elongated reptile. Its versatility is identifiable by its capacity for movement in the water, on land or in the air.
The Chinese have worked hard to maintain the ancient tradition of the dragon dance. Today it is used to attract tourists into the country and is more popular than it ever has been in history.
Author: Steve ChungThis author has published 1 articles so far.