Congratulations to all those Year of the Dog people! While the Lunar New Year, sometimes Chinese New year (although other regions of Asia have a the holiday as well), started a week ago PennDesign kicked off it’s celebrations last night. Friday’s Happy Hour greeted students with an impressive selection of chinese savory and dessert dishes, rumored to be from Sangkee Noodle House, and a Lion Dance for good fortune. The line wrapped around the lower level well out the door of the atrium in the design building. While I am sure that many, like myself, came for the food, the Lion Dance was the most amazing surprise and really captivated those gathered. A student group, I believe undergraduate, performed the dance and music live in the atrium and translated the significance of the ceremony’s many elements. The dance is a fight between the lion(s) and a poisonous spider, misfortune. The Lion kicks the legs away and then destroys the body of the spider. The body of the spider is composed of lettuce and oranges, a poor mans staples, which are thrown at the audience to cover them in good luck. My starstruck viewing of the dance meant very limited photographs and videos, of which I will share a few. This event is certainly one to look forward to next year!
Since I know so little of this tradition I researched it quikcly and have attached a few links which better explain the lunar new year, the lion dance, and the chinese zodiac.