The earliest records of the dragon dance were in the Western Han dynasty about 200 BC. The dragons are considered as the governors of rainfalls in Chinese culture. They have the power to decide where and when to have rainfalls. The kings of the water dragons live in the dragon palaces under the oceans. The dance was done to beg for rain during a malicious drought, by groups of males after a three-day purifying fast.

The Chinese people from the beginning of time had shown a remarkable ability to understand the intricate working of nature and the relationship between rain and oceanic wind pattern. They know that water vapor were originated from the sea and endowed the dragon with rain making ability. Chinese dragon is compassionate in their spirit and benefits the people - contrasting to the western myth of a cold vicious lizard-like dragon.

Legends in China described the dragon as an extraordinary animal with fish scales and long beards. As time went on, it became more and more embellished in the minds of the people, acquiring the antlers of the deer, the mane of the horse and the claws of the eagle - in short, appropriating the distinctive features of other creatures until it became what we see today.


The Dragon dance is always a revered performance that attracts great crowds. Dragon Dance is the fierce and explosive movement of several people controlling the massive body of the dragon. The serpentine movements require speed, coordination, and power, which in all bring the majestic creature to life.

Dragon Dance used to be called the "Dance of the Dragon Lantern". It was a very gentle dance with few movements. Gradually, more dance steps were added, making it a robust and exuberant dance.

The Dragon is an amphibian, able to move on land, able to fly in the sky and able to swim in the sea. As the dragon gives people a feeling of great respect, it is often called the Sacred Dragon. The emperors of ancient China considered themselves as the dragon, the emblem of Imperial Authority. The appearance of the dragon is frightening but it has a benevolent temperament. It symbolizes supernatural power, goodness, fertility, vigilance and dignity.

The Chinese who have shown great belief and respect towards the mystical animal started the dragon dance. Dragon Dance has spread throughout China and to the whole world. It becomes a special performance of arts in the Chinese physical activities. It symbolizes the bringing of good luck and prosperity in the year to come for all the human beings on earth. According to ancient history, during the period of Chun Chiu, the learning of Chinese Martial Arts was very popular and in the spare time, dragon dance was also being taught to students to provide more encouragement.

The size and length of a dragon depends on the human power available, financial power, materials, skills and size of the field. Present day dragons come in various lengths and sizes. The earlier dragons followed standard of nine sections. Nowadays, the dragons can be of eleven, thirteen, fifteen, or even more than twenty sections. However, the longer or bigger the dragon, the harder it is to manipulate. History tells us that the performances of dragon dance are in various different ways, types and colors. Green is selected as the main color of the dragon, which symbolizes great harvest. Other colors include: yellow symbolizing the solemn empire, golden or silver colors symbolizing prosperity, red color representing excitement while its scales and tail are mostly beautiful silver colors and glittering at all times which provides a feeling of festive atmosphere.

The pearl of the dragon represents the sun and wisdom. The pearl is carried by a dancer and is used to lead and charm the dragon. The movement "dragon chasing the pearl" shows that the dragon is continually in the pursuit of wisdom.


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