DID YOU KNOW? that Dragon Dance is now an elective course at SEU
On April 8, 2021, students were practicing the dragon and lion dances at Taoyuan Stadium at Jiulonghu Campus, SEU. This semester, SEU has introduced the dragon and lion dances as a physical education class. Therefore, Ma Shanyuan, a post-90s physical education teacher, was teaching a group of students born after 2000 how to play the dragon dance. Given the appealing curriculum, college students rushed to register this course, which mainly gives instructions on the dragon dance skills to carry forward the national traditional culture.
The traditional dance & performance is usually held during festivals to pray for harvest and has become a symbol of luck in Chinese culture. It is believed the longer the dragon in the dance, the more luck it will bring to the people.
- What Does A Dragon Symbolize?
The dragon, as a symbol of China, plays an important role in Chinese culture. As an embodiment of wisdom, power and wealth, it is believed to bring good luck to people.
- The Origin of the Chinese Dragon Dance
The origin of the dragon dance can be dated back to the Han Dynasty (206 BC–220 AD). It was used in a ceremony for worshiping ancestors and praying for rain, and then gradually developed into an entertainment activity.
By the Tang Dynasty (618–907) and the Song Dynasty (960–1279), it had become a common ceremonial activity in festivals like Chinese New Year.
- The Dragon Dance
Costume:The dragon dance costume used for a dragon dance is made of such materials as grass, bamboo, paper, and cloth.
Odd numbers of the dragon’s joints are regarded as auspicious, so people often make a 9-jointed dragon, an 11-jointed dragon, a 13-jointed dragon, or even a 29-jointed dragon. As dragons made of more than 15 joints are usually too heavy to dance, they are mainly used for display; therefore, this kind of dragon puts more weight on decoration and highlights a high degree of both craft and technology.