Lion dancers prepare for Chinese New Year celebrations in US capital

Chinese Culture

Courtesy Wong People Association

While 2015 may be the Year of the Sheep, during Chinese New Year celebrations, the lions always take center stage.

In Washington D.C.’s Chinatown, a nonprofit called the The Wong People Association, trains community members every year to perform the traditional lion dance during new year festivities.

The lion plays an integral part in Chinese New Year lore, as it said firecrackers and lion dancing was used to scare away the legendary monster that terrorized villagers known as Nian – another word for “year”.

“It’s a ritual designed to drive away evil spirits so one can bring good luck,” Wong People’s martial arts director Raymond Wong said.

To learn this dance, one must have a basis in kung fu, he added.

“It’s really part of the martial arts training,” Wong said. “You learn the lion dance when you get to the intermediate level of martial arts.”

CCTV America’s Hua Ming visited the Wong People as they practiced for this year’s lion dance in Washington D.C.’s Chinatown Community Cultural Center.

Lion dancers prepare for Chinese New Year celebrations in US capital

Lion dancers prepare for Chinese New Year celebrations in US capital

While 2015 may be the Year of the Sheep, during Chinese New Year celebrations, the lions always take center stage. CCTV America's digital media team visited the Wong People as they practiced for this year's lion dance in Washington D.C.'s Chinatown Community Cultural Center.

On Feb. 19th, these lion dancers performed at the White House, which is the first lion dance performed there.

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Courtesy Wong People Association