Another way that Chinese used to scare off evil monsters at the start of the new year is the lion dance, let's now find out more about this Chinese tradition.The lion dance is a familiar sight on the streets of Chinatown during Chinese New Year celebrations. This is a traditional lively dance that combines art, history and culture, with the rigours of Chinese martial arts movements. Two dancers form the lion, one holds the lion's head revolves the front part of the lion's body while the second dancer forms the body and the tail of the lion. Together they plumps about to the rhythm of the drums, symbols and the gong.The lion symbolizes courage, strength and authority. According to traditional Chinese belief, loud music can frighten away ghosts, evil spirits and the “Nian", the Chinese legendary monster that would come out to attack and kill people during the New Year.Today the lion dance is performed to usher in a new and prosperous year, it involves for ritual of the lion plug in greens for “caiqing". The Chinese words "Cai" is 'plug' sounds like the word for wealth also pronounces "Cai", thus a typical performance involve the lion plugging vegetables that are placed on the tail or hang for the ceiling with a red packet outside for business premisses. This all special ritual is believed to bring in good luck and wealth to the business.
If you walk around a Chinese village during the New Year, you'll see a lot of red banners stuck on people's doors. Now these banners are messages of good fortune for the new year. An old Chinese tradition hanging red banners for New Year was one of the methods used to scare away the beast "Nian".Now the banner is contained auspicious messages with will and harmony when the new year comes around. Some of the banners contain corresponding Chinese poetic couplets known as "Chunlian" or spring couplets, these placed on the entrance of houses during the Chinese New Year. These Chinese couplets which paste not either side of a doorway or sometimes also accompanied by a third idiom located on the top at the door.Here is a common "Chunlian" about the coming spring :"冬去山明水秀”, winter is gone, the mountain is clear and water sparkles. “春来鸟语花香”，spring comes, bird sing and flowers fragrant. “大地回春”，the whole earth returns to spring.Another common banner is the single character spring- "chun" or good fortune "fu" except they are posted upside down, this comes with play on words. The Chinese character that means backwards or upside down "dao" is pronounced the same way as the character for arrive.
rhythm ['riðəm, 'riθəm] n. 节奏;韵律
authority [ɔ:'θɔrəti] n. 权威;权力;当局
usher ['ʌʃə] vt. 引导，招待;迎接;开辟
ritual ['ritjuəl, -tʃu-] n. 仪式;惯例;礼制
involve [in'vɔlv] vt. 包含;牵涉;使陷于;潜心于
auspicious [ɔ:'spiʃəs] adj. 吉兆的，吉利的;幸运的
harmony ['hɑ:məni] n. 协调;和睦;融洽;调和
couplet [‘kʌplit] n. 对联;对句
spring couplets 春联
fragrant ['freiɡrənt] adj. 芳香的;愉快的
更多精彩内容 >> 新东方网英语频道