#965. A Lion Dance, against all odds.

By Patrick Woo | Opinion

Feb 12

It is a popular Chinese practice to have a lion dance as a lucky charm to mark the commencement of events e.g. opening a business, starting a festival, hosting a birthday or wedding party etc.

 
 

For years, our parish church has been hosting a lion dance on the Sunday of the Lunar New Year. This year, notwithstanding the haunting of the Coronavirus outbreak, the parish decided, against all odds, to carry on the tradition. The outbreak explains the sea of faces, in the photos, wearing surgical masks.

 
 

As before, the lion dance started at the church entrance and finished in the parish hall. Because of the restricted space in the open air, there were two dances, starting at the end of the 9.30 am and the11.00 am Mass respectively.

 
 

Again because of the lack of space, the performers were obliged to use smaller lions and junior dancers. The two young lions appeared to be quite energetic and playful.

 
 

The dance in the open air came to an end with the firing of the tube-fire-cracker, showering colour “lucky” stars into the air.

The hailing of the lucky buns and the unveiling of the two lucky banners concluded the dance in the parish hall.

 
 

With all local schools closed for at least another 3 weeks , and both public and banking services partially halted because of the Coronavirus outbreak, my sharing of the album with DearSusan is to reflect the fighting spirit of the Hong Kong people (we are advised by the authorities to stay indoors) and to offer a brief photographic introduction of the lion dance.

 
 

Just in case DearSusan has agreed to honour me with sharing the photos at their venue, I have carefully downsized the album to give, nonetheless, a brief but chronological record of the dance. I have also provided explanatory narratives plus photo captions, to elaborate some of the highlights of the lion dance e.g. the paper stars showered via the tube-fire-crackers, the hauling of lucky buns, and the unveiling of the lucky banners etc.

 
 

Together, we stand and dance to win the fight against the Coronavirus, against all odds.

 

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  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    Great photos – courageous performance – thanks for sharing it with us, Patrick. I haven’t been to HK since 1994, and a lot has changed since then. It’s lovely to see some up to date photos of it – I’ve had several wonderful holidays there!

    Australia’s doing its part to help you – we apparently have one of the only two laboratories in the world that have been able to replicate the Coronavirus, and this is the first step towards developing a vaccine. So everyone is hoping that we will soon be able to start moving forward and dealing with it.

    In the meantime, those masks seem to be a very sensible idea!

  • Welcome to DS, Patrick! Your images of the lion dance remind me of photos taken during other stressful times in history, with people trying to keep up their traditions while protecting themselves from a common enemy – in this case, the corona virus. While those historic photos lacked all color, your images express the exuberance of the dance by showing the vibrant pink costumes. Thanks for sharing.

    • Patrick WOO says:

      Thank you kindly, Neecee, for your encouragements.
      Indeed, in tough situation as we are having in Hong Kong, we do need the colour, the action and support, such as yours, to keep up our struggle against the Coronavirus.

  • Lad Sessions says:

    Patrick, Thanks for the fascinating, and colorful, glimpse into Hong Kong, and welcome to DS. We have been there only once, following a tour of China, but saw enough to want to see more some day. Our daughter lives in NZ, so perhaps that will be an excuse to swing by your way some year. Cheers, Lad

    • Patrick WOO says:

      Thank you, Lad, for your courtesy.
      Yes, we do have a handful of add-on tourist attractions e.g. the new West Kowloon Cultural Centre, Disney Land, the re-decorated waterfront corridor in Tsimshatsui (Kowloon), and the enriched Ocean Park….. etc.
      Please do come and see for yourself, in the new future.

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