Lion dance is a symbol of Chinese culture?


Every Spring Festival, no matter the north and south as long as there are Chinese places are not without the lion dance to help. Each lion has two people to perform together, one person dance head, one person dance tail, under the big gong, the big drum, the big cymbal accompaniment makes the lion each kind of form movement. For example ," the front empty over the lion "," back empty over the high table "," the cloud over the plum pile "and so on. In particular, one person played the little lion holding hydrangea to attract the lion's "lion roll hydrangea" performance is loved by men, women and children.

Legend has it that lion dance originated in the Southern and Northern dynasties, the famous general Zong (the nephew of the Eastern Jin calligrapher Zong Bing) in Yuanjia 22 years (AD 445) and the southern Linyi country (about now in the southern part of Vietnam Shunhua, etc.) a war. Zong was a pioneer and came up with a clever plan after successive setbacks. Order his men to carve pieces of wood, make lion headgear and masks, wearing yellow clothes, the enemy mistakenly thought that countless lions rushed over, all defeated and fled, Zong won the victory. Then the lion began to spread to the folk, adding licking, scratching, rolling, stretching, pulling out the ears and other actions, the image also became particularly lovely, gradually interpreted as "lion dance, send auspicious" custom. For a long time, many Chinese people believe that lions and lion dance have been our Chinese cultural symbols since ancient times, but is that true?

Temple fair lion roll hydrangea, source network

The lion has always been regarded as a Rui beast in China. In fact, China does not produce lions, it is a foreign animal. In ancient Asia, lions were common animals in India, Persia, Babylon, Assyria and Asia Minor. The Asian lion is the second largest cat in Asia after the tiger. The lion weighs 160-190 kg and the lion weighs 110-120 kg. The fur is fluffy and the ears and elbows of the tail are longer. Today's wild communities live only in Gil Forest National Park in Gujarat, western India. According to the survey released in May 2015, the number is about 523. Their main prey is water deer, flower deer, blue antelope, Indian gazelle, wild boar and livestock.

Asian lions enter Ellan from Iraq (now Iran's Al-Khuzestan and Ilam provinces), then spread along southern Iran, east to Afghanistan and India and Pakistan, then to Afghanistan, north to Central Asia and China. The lion has the function of shock and evil spirits. It is often used to guard the gate in front of ancient Chinese architectural palaces, temples, government offices, gardens and mausoleums. Yuan Xiong Mengxiang wrote "Analysis of the customs of Jin Zhi lost" records :" In the home of the official Shu Shuo tax, the first of the library, mostly cast lions with pig iron, left and right outside the seat, or with white stone chisel, as above ." This is the earliest and most detailed record of the appearance of the gatekeeper stone lion in our country.

Collection of Stone Carving Art Museum in Beijing from 1271 to 1368     

In fact, this practice is not only in China, Iran, Afghanistan has been spread. Stone lions are still popular at the gates of banks and museums in this area. At the gate of the shattered Afghan National Museum is a pair of broken stone lions.

Afghanistan National Museum Gate, Source Network

With the introduction of lions into China, the two words for lions began to appear in China. One word is "gui ", which is close to the pronunciation of ancient Hindi, and American scholar Xue Aihua thinks it spread from India to China in BC. The earliest saw the warring States "Mu Tianzi Biography" volume 1: Bai Jao said :" the bird wing, said. The kites and storks fly eight hundred miles. A famous beast makes a foot. Go five hundred miles a day. .." Two Jin scholars Guo Pu note :" Jia, Shi Zi, also eat tiger leopard ." The book was written before the second century B. C.," Er Ya Shi Beast "records :" like a cat, eat tiger leopard ." I'm a bitch. Guo Hongnong also noted :" That is, the teacher also, out of the Western region ."

And Lin Mei village professor believes that the sarvanai, comes from the language of Skey Tai, and the Skey Tai people have been with the Central Plains since the Shang Dynasty. In fact, by the Tang Dynasty, the word was no longer used.

The second word is "teacher son ", which is believed by American scholar Xue Aihua to have been introduced into China from Iran in the early years of the Western Han Dynasty, but it was only in the Middle Ages that the name of the animal was often used until now. The word "lion" did not appear until the Northern Song Dynasty, but people were still used to using teachers to call lions. It was not until the Ming Dynasty that the lion officially replaced the teacher. Ming Dynasty medical scientist Li Shizhen "Compendium of Materia Medica" said :" Lions out of the Western States, for the long beasts ." Ming Zhang Dai by the "Night Boat" volume of the 17th four spirit of the beast said :" Lion, a bird ."

Dehua kiln lion incense inserted in the Ming Dynasty (AD 1368-1644) Qiongzi jade bone Ming Qing Dehua white porcelain exhibition
Lion dance spread from Central Asia, South Asia, first spread to Xinjiang, Qinghai, Tibet, and then to the Central Plains. Summing up all the places of communication, we can clearly see that it is basically consistent with the route introduced by lions, so the art of lion dance, which has Chinese cultural symbols, is also related to foreign influence.