St. John’s Celebrates Chinese New Year With Lion Dance

The Dale J. Jenkins Gymnasium was filled with the sound of the beating drum, cymbals and gongs as students, faculty and staff gather to watch the lion dance on Tuesday, February 20. Students excitingly reach out their hands to “feed” the dancing lion with red envelopes as it makes its way around the gym. During Chinese New Year, feeding the lion is said to bring good luck and fortune to the giver throughout the year and is considered donation for favorable service to the lion dance performers.

This traditional Chinese dance is performed during social gatherings and big occasions, such as the Spring Festival (Chinese New Year). During the performance, dancers would mimic a lion’s movements and physical gestures dressed under a lion costume. Performing the lion dance is believed to ward off negative and evil spirits and usher in good luck.

Towards the end of the performance, the lion eats a lettuce hung up with a red envelop and spits out the torn up leaves denoting new beginnings, good fortune and prosperity.

The lion dance was perform by the Chinese School of Guam’s Lion Dance Team.

Xin Nian Kuai Le! (Happy New Year)

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