In the Chinese pantheon, among mythological animals, immortal sages and soul divinities, the Dragon is the most sacred animal and was the emblem of the Emperor himself, divine emanation and symbol of strength and benevolence.His legend was born 5,000 years ago, together with the culture of the Chinese people. Dragon Dance is already very popular in the Sung Dynasty (960-1279 BC) and has remained alive until today. The mask and the body of the Dragon can be of various colors, golden, green, flaming red or different colors.
The Feature of the Dance
The Dance can be performed both day and night and the procession of dancers that performs it is compared to the wave of the sea, faithful and natural representation of a celestial dragon. Represented on the occasion of the new year, as well as in ancient China, this animal was considered benevolent and providential, symbol of long life, fortune and bearer of rains, vital for the lands and future crops. It is not by chance that this propitiatory capacity is linked to the world of Kung Fu, also because its movements are difficult and require considerable physical preparation. With the dragon dance in Singapore the details are perfectly there.
The Dragon is carried by 9 athletes and is about 20 meters long, even if you build much longer dragons on special occasions, brought by 20 and more people. During his performance the animal follows a leader who dances at the head of the procession, carrying a lantern or a pearl (representing the Moon, wisdom, luck) on top of a stick, with which he guides the movements of the Dragon and manages the rhythms along with the band of drums, cymbals, gongs. The choreography is often enriched by the dance of the Lion and consists not only of the rhythm of the drum also of pyrotechnic elements and colored fumes.
Brief History of Chinese Mythology
The mythological stories are lost in the mists of time, but it is during the Wei and Jin Dynasties (220-420 CE) that the writers, influenced by the alchemist and Taoist and Buddhist superstitions, ventured into telling stories about deities and ghosts. In the following period, under the Northern and Southern Dynasties and later during the Tang Dynasty, many well-known narrators and poets took up real stories that reflected the various aspects of human nature and everyday life.
These stories, in their structure, are not short notes or anecdotes like fairy tales produced in previous eras, but well-structured tales with distinct and intense characters, interesting plots, deities, ghosts, animal spirits and their incarnation, wise spirits, mythological monsters.
In The Literature
The mythological literary works typical of the Song Dynasty, influence the narrative of the Tang period, even if they never reach those levels. One of the novels in the field of fiction, which deserves to be mentioned, is the Taiping Guangji collection which dates back to 976-983 AD, a collection of about 7,000 stories, selected in about 300 books, many of which were lost and published before and during the Song Dynasty years. Most of these 7,000 stories speak of male and female deities, fairies and ghosts. In the Song era they are found with the name of “notes for narrators”.