Vancouverites, Get Ready to Glow in the Dark with Dragons from Taiwan During LunarFest, Feb. 20-22

photo: lunarfest.org

photo: lunarfest.org

Dragons have been showcased in many cultural traditions. From the dragons in the Ethiopia of Greek mythology, to the European Red Dragon of Wales, to the Thunder Dragon of Bhutan and Pakhangba, to the mythical hybrid dragon, Manipur. There are countless stories and tales from around the world that feature this mythical creature.

In China, dragons are associated with power, strength and prosperity and are also believed to have control over the weather. As a symbol of the Imperial Family, dragons were often-times incorporated into the architecture of the palaces and were embroidered into the clothing of the Emperor.

To bring forth good luck, dragon dancing performed during the Chinese Lunar New Year is a tradition that has been passed down for many generations. The traditional dragon dance involves a long serpentine body made of wood, bamboo hoops and colourful fabric sectioned with poles for dancers to manipulate the dragon’s movements.

Performing in Canada for the first time, the award-winning Jhuo Lan Dragon Dance Team will bring five of their world-famous dragon dances to LunarFest. One of the most unique dances is fittingly named “Bursting Dragon.” This is a special Hakka tradition from Miaoli, Taiwan in which dragon dancers perform in the middle of exploding firecrackers!

In passing down this significant cultural ritual, the dragon dance team from the National Jhuo Lan Experimental Senior High School has not only trained countless dragon dancers, but has also created a number of amazing performances, including The Warrior Dragon, The Dragon in Fuse, The Lotus Dragon, The Dragon of Glory and The Dragon for the Stars.

The Dragon of Glory performance will be at LunarFest from Feb. 20 – 22 at the Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza.

 

Hundreds of sheep are moving into Vancouver

Admittedly, live sheep aren’t setting up residence in the city, but beautifully lit sheep lanterns will be available for viewing later this month. The International Lunar New Year Sheep Association has announced that there will be a rally of hundreds of lanterns on display at the Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza from Feb. 20 – 22. They will be used to encourage Vancouverites to participate in the most important celebration for many Asian-Canadians – Lunar New Year.

LunarFest wants all of you to come out and support this peaceful demonstration to celebrate the Year of Sheep!

photo: lunarfest / flickr

photo: lunarfest / flickr

About LunarFest:

Built as a festival that celebrates one of the oldest traditions for many Asian cultures – Lunar New Year, LunarFest aims to collaborate with many Asian communities and outreaches to other Canadians. Since the inception, LunarFest is also built on an important artistic element for many cultures – the lanterns. Through collaborations with professional artists and school children in Canada and around the world, LunarFest has already presented Lantern Forest for 2009-2010, Lantern Aquarium for 2011-2012, Lantern Jungle in 2013 and Lantern Palaces in 2014.

Other highlights of this year’s festival include Sheep Love for All, The Lanterns of Three Little Sheep, The Winter Wonderland – Lunar New Year Street Fest, Fortune Telling, Meeting of Drums, Dumpling Fest and more!

For more information, visit lunarfest.org.

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