The Chinese Lion Dance goes back some one thousand years. The first record of the performance of an early form of the Lion Dance dates to the early Ch’in and Han Dynasties (Third Century B.C.) From the fourth day to the fifteenth of the New Year, lion dance groups would tour from village to village in traditional China.
Both lions and dragons figure in Chinese Spring Festival and other celebrations throughout the year.People believe that the lion is a lucky beast that expresses joy and happiness. Therefore, the lion dance plays an important role at official celebrations and happy events to summon luck and fortune.
Chinese lion dances can be broadly categorised into two styles, Northern (bei shi) and Southern (nan shi). Northern dance was used as entertainment for the imperial court. The northern lion is usually red, orange, and yellow (sometimes with green fur for the female lion), shaggy in appearance, with a golden head. The northern dance is acrobatic and is mainly performed as entertainment. Sometimes, they perform dangerous stunts.