xi's moments
Home | Heritage

Dancing in the street

By Xu Lin | China Daily | Updated: 2021-02-18 08:04

The 13-person rice-straw dragon team forms a winding dragon while climbing around a 12-meter-high pillar in Qianjiang's Longwan town, Hubei province, during the Spring Festival of 1988.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Hubei province's town keeps tradition alive as festival dragon entertains in dramatic style, Xu Lin reports.

It's a time of year when tradition is honored. Indeed, tradition merges with modernity. The present makes an accommodation with the past. The dragon dance on Longtaitou Festival, or Dragon Head-raising Festival, to pray for auspiciousness, is a case in point. The festival, which heralds the start of the spring plowing season, falls on the second day of the second month of the Chinese lunar calendar every year.

While the dragon's body is usually made of cloth, with bamboo as its "bones", those from Qianjiang city, Central China's Hubei province, celebrate the annual festival with dragons made from rice straw. They also partake in a special dragon dance at Lunar New Year and Lantern Festival.

The city's rice-straw dragon dance can be traced back to the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220), celebrating its heyday during the Tang Dynasty (618-907).

As a legendary creature in Chinese mythology, the dragon symbolizes power, strength and good luck, and has been worshipped for generations. The mythological Dragon Kings are capable of exerting control over water, rainfall and floods.

Only Longwan town in Qianjiang still keeps the tradition of rice-straw dragon dances and it was listed as a national intangible cultural heritage in 2014.

Zhang Jinpan, 80, is the only national intangible cultural heritage inheritor of the tradition, and the four city-level inheritors, in their 50s and 60s, are all his disciples.

1 2 3 Next   >>|
Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349