Gung Hay Fat Choy or best wishes for a prosperous new year! Chinese New Year is one of the most important holidays for the Chinese people and it is marked with many traditions. I learned a great deal about these traditions and the festivities surrounding the holiday while living and teaching in Singapore. The island was transformed during the holiday with many festivals, food stalls and lion dancing performances.
In 2017, Chinese New Year begins on January 28th and it is the year of the rooster. The holiday begins on the first day of the first month of the Chinese lunisolar calendar and lasts for 15 days ending with a Lantern Festival. Chinese New Year signals the end of winter and the start of the spring season. Lion dancing is a traditional part of the New Year festivities and is believed to bring happiness and luck. I learned from my colleagues at Singapore American School how to incorporate the rich tradition of lion dancing into my music classroom and I have always found that children embrace the music and dancing of this wonderful celebration.
A few years ago I wrote an article for Virginia Music Educators magazine regarding the holiday celebration as well as a very detailed lesson plan. Click here and scroll to p. 51 to download a pdf of the lesson!.
Enjoy this very special Lion Dance.