San Diego Lucky Lion Dancers
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The lion dance is an important tradition in the Chinese culture. The dance is common practice as part of Chinese New Year festivities, bringing good luck and happiness. Often times, you will also see this tradition performed at weddings and grand-openings of restaurants.
The San Diego Lucky Lion Dance group is the oldest and the largest in the greater-San Diego area with performances contracted throughout the year. Our busiest schedule occurs during Chinese New Year.
Who We Are
The San Diego Lucky Lion Dance group is the oldest and the largest in the greater-San Diego area. We are composed of volunteer elementary-, middle- and high-school students, college students, working professionals and parents dedicated to sharing our heritage with others in our communities. Many of our performers have been around for well over 10 years or more.
Our group has performed at weddings, grand openings, special events, school cultural assemblies, cultural festivals, parades, and yes, even Bar-Mitzvahs.
We've also performed at the SuperBowl pre-game show, San Diego Padres pre-game entertainment, and background engagements for film productions.
Historically, the lion dance has been used to scare away the evil spirits. The Chinese referred to this spirit as the "Nien," which was pronounced similiarly to the Chinese word "Year."
In desperation, the Chinese people asked the lion for help. The lion accepted and scared away the Nien. However, the Nien promised to return the following year, and it did; but this time, the people didn't have the lion to protect them. So, again, in desperation, they created a bamboo and cloth lion, danced and roared, and scared away the Nien. The Chinese people in their success continued this practice for years to come.
Many Chinese people still have a firm belief in this Chinese mythology. Our modern day performance is modeled after the traditional southern China styles. Our lion's head is made of paper-mache and bamboo. Its body is a colorful-patterned cloth with synthetic fur and bells.
It still takes two people to make the lion come alive, and the lion is accompanied by instruments: drums, gongs, and cymbals to provide the loud sounds that scare away the evil spirits. Many times, firecrackers are used to accompany this tradition; however, regulations in some cities prevent the use.
Many people who have visited China or have seen the lion dance performed in a traditional setting often times associate it with the loud "pop" and "bang" of fireworks.
Our performing group has a number of pyrotechnicians licensed by the State of California's Fire Marshal. As of this writing, we are the only lion dance group in San Diego County with licensing.
We use only approved ceremonial firecrackers and will assist in obtaining all permits necessary for the display. There is a moderate "per string" fee for stringed firecrackers and "per pack" for small-packs, and a pyrotechnician fee.