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Photo Essay

Lions and Dragons Dance again after four years silence

The 15th World Hong Kong Luminous Dragon and Lion Dance Championships returned to Hung Hom Stadium on Mar. 9, after a four year hiatus, gathering 11 lion teams and 8 luminous dragon teams.

For the first time the luminous dragon performances took place during the day.

“The windows were covered with black cloth and all the lights will be turned off to create a night effect,"said Gong Pui-wai, President of Hong Kong Chinese Martial Arts Dragon and Lion Dance Association.

The championship is held every two years but was canceled in 2022 because of the pandemic.This year's championship includes teams from mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao,Taiwan, and eight other countries and regions.

The Arts Dragon and Lion Dance Association sent nine referees and more than 50 volunteers to ensure the event went smoothly

"Both lion dance and dragon dance are a test of teamwork," said Gong. "Holding such a championship represents Hong Kong's welcoming spirit of tolerance and unity. reflecting our respect for traditional Chinese culture,"he added.

Southern Lion Dance head dress.


According to China Luminous Dragon and Lion Dance association, more than 8,000 people are at the event.


The Hong Kong team, represented by the Ha Kwok Cheung Dragon and Lion Development Foundation, rehearses outside the Coliseum. Their performance combines Chinese lion dance with Harry Potter, a classic English novel, to perform a "Quidditch battle".


The Hong Kong lion dance team pays homage to the Earth God outside the Hong Kong Coliseum and prays for the upcoming competition.


“Before every competition, they will worship the gods of heaven and earth, burn incense, burn paper and place sacrificial fruits,” says Elif Chan, the leader of the Hong Kong Lion Dance Team.


“The lion dance is a traditional culture founded in China,we have been practicing it for over 9 years,” says Elif Chan, “we are confident of reaching the finals and getting a good grade."


The Japanese team represented by Yokohama Overseas Chinese School, as this year's starting team, has 10 people participating in the competition and presents the audience with a lion dance performance theme of "Wish and Blessing".


Hyo Hincho, 20, a Taiwanese who grew up in Japan. While studying at an overseas Chinese school in Japan, he was exposed to Chinese culture such as dragon dance and lion dance since he was a child, and began to receive lion dance training in his senior year of high school.


The Lion Dance Sports Federation from Thailand is arranging their lion heads ready to perform their show. With the theme of Lion Boxing Adventure, Thai Team integrates the local Muay Thai culture into the lion dance performance.


The Yiwei Athletic Association, a lion dance team from Singapore, is conducting its last pre-game drill at the venue.


The Singapore team scores the second highest in the game and receives a round of applause from the audience ​of their pink lion.


The Huang Lian Sheng Lion Dance Troupe from Shenzhen is participating for the first time and win the highest score in the competition.


Performers return backstage to change, rest after competing in the lion dance.


The Dragon dance is developed from folk activities in the past, the Hong Kong Leisure and Cultural Services Department has included dragon dance as a sports event since 1998.


A staff member is sewing the damaged dragon made from bamboo and cloth for the Hong Kong team before the start of the dragon dance championship.


Team members from Taipei Zhen Yu Arts are conducting "imagery training," a dragon training method without acting props. “We imagine this venue as a stage, which helps the players quickly get into a competitive mood,” says Pan Rongbin, the coach of the team.


“Colorful Dragon Chasing the Moon" in the glow-in-the-dark dragon dance competition, is performed by the Marquis Lung Northern Shaolin Kung Fu Academy in Canada.


“The Federation will promote dragon and lion dance sports to schools, giving young people more opportunities to be exposed to this traditional cultural sport. It will also allow teams from various countries to communicate with each other through competitions, so as to popularize and pass on the traditional culture,” says Gong (The one on the left in the photo).


At the end of the championship, China's Guangzhou Light Dragon, one of the teams that advanced to the finals, is taking a group photo outside the Coliseum.

《The Young Reporter》

The Young Reporter (TYR) started as a newspaper in 1969. Today, it is published across multiple media platforms and updated constantly to bring the latest news and analyses to its readers.


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