During the Chinese New Year, lion dancer troupes from the Chinese martial art schools or Chinese guild and associations will visit the houses and shops of the Chinese community to perform the traditional custom of "chai ching" , literally means "plucking the greens", a quest by the 'lion' to pluck the auspicious green normally 'vegetables' like lettuce and auspicious fruit like oranges tied to a [red envelope|"Hung Bao"/"Angpau" or "red packet"] containing money; either hung highly or just put on a table in front of the premises. The "lion" will dance and approach the "green" and "Hung Bao" like a curious cat, to "eat the green" and "spit" it out leave it in a nice arrangement, like a auspicious character but keep the "Hung Bao". The lion dance is believed to bring good luck and fortune to the business and the troupe is rewarded with the "Hung Bao".
Different types of vegetables, fruits, foods or utensils with auspicious and good symbolic meanings; for instance pineapples, pamelos, bananas, oranges, sugar cane shoots, coconuts, beer, clay pots or even crabs can be used to be the "greens" to be "plucked" to give different difficulty and challenge for the lion dance performers. But the difficulties of the challenge should comes with the bigger the rewards of the "Hung Bao" given.
The lion dance sometime along with the dragon dance are also usually performed at many other important grand occasions, including Chinese traditional, cultural and religious festivals, business opening events, birthday celebrations, honour guest welcoming and wedding ceremonies by the Chinese communities.
The Northern Dragons Lion dance team have competed many times and have won National competitions for 3 consecutive years.
Northern Dragons have performed for many Chinese communities, schools, weddings, opening of new businesses, etc and are available to perform or run workshops throughout the country.
We offer high level tuition for those wishing to learn this fun, energetic and meaninful art. The normal team would consist of a lion ( two people), cybals, drum, gong.
We have currently 5 teams that meet regularly to practice and perform. We are always looking for new members of teh team who are willing learn. Come and give it a try.