Chinese New Year 2024, Get To Know The Origins of Barongsai
Chinese New Year or also known as the Spring Festival is always filled with many festivities and attractions, one of the notable ones in Indonesia is Barongsai. Did you know, Barongsai originally coined by Indonesian, internationally Barongsai known as the Lion Dance.
The Lion Dance existed around 1500 years ago in China related to the Silk Route. During the Tang Dynasty, the Lion Dance was one of royal palace entertainment. Then this dance continued to become a popular attraction for the commoners, along with folklore about a monster called Nian comes every Chinese new year to bring chaos and how the Lion Dance triumphantly banishes the monster.
Therefore the lion dance becomes a quintessential at important events such as the Spring Festival, or at ceremonial events to banish bad omens and bring good luck.
According to Nation Online this dance combined art with history, and kung fu moves. This dance was also performed in a group. The dance moves emulate the feeling of the lion, and each move has different music that goes along with it, usually accompanied by the sound of cymbal, gong, and drum.
There are two schools of Lion Dance, the Northern Lion Dance school, with a curly mane lion and four legs, mimicking the real lion. The Southern Lion Dance however has more scales and legs. The head of the lions also has horns, sort of like a fusion of dragon and lion.
Both schools have different moves. The Southern is well known for their rigorous head movement following the banging of the gong and drum, while the Northern is more agile and dynamic.
Each color of the Lion Dance costume has a different meaning as well; white to represent sanctity, red for bravery, green for friendship, gold for happiness, and yellow for luck.
At the end of the show, the lion would eat an envelope filled with cash. Apart from the envelope, there’s usually an offering such as lettuce, or orange symbolizing the gratitude for the lion after they protect and fight evils.
And, not only as entertainment every Chinese New Year, the Lion Dance has officially become one of the sport branches, including in Indonesia since 2013. (SYARA/DKD)