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LION DANCE AND RITUAL OBJECT OF MID-AUTUMN

The Lion dance and the white rabbit are specific features of Mid-Autumn

Why Do People Perform the Lion Dance?

Once upon a time, there was a woodcutter who lived in the forest. On one moonlit Min-Autumn night, he saw a big lion playing with the moonlight by the forest stream. The lion jumped into the stream to catch the reflection of the moon in the water, but whenever it did so, the moon disappeared. This made the lion so angry he flew into a rage and stormed into a nearby village.

Lion dance
Lion dance

Hearing the villagers’s call for help, the woodcutter chopped off a tree branch to make a club. After much effort, he defeated the lion. The villagers admired the woodman’s strength and asked him to re-stage his struggle with lion. Since then, villagers have held lion dances at their annual Mid-Autumn Festivals. Two persons in the role of a brave woodcutter and a strong lion challenge each other in martial art style, portraying the great fight in which the woodcutter saved the village.

How Did the White Rabbit Become a Ritual Object?

Once upon a time, there lived as hardworking, brave and kind-hearted white rabbit called Thỏ Trắng. One moonlight nights in the forest, Thỏ Trắng and his friends held a party to welcome the moon. Suddenly thet heard a scream. They ran to check and found an old man fainting from hunger. While they are trying to help the man, a cunning fox stole all the food thay had laid out for the party.

 The White Rabbit becomes a ritual object of Mid-Autumn
The White Rabbit becomes a ritual object of Mid-Autumn

Tho Trang and his friends searched for food to give the man. Alas, they found nothing. Brave Tho Trang jumped into the fire to roast himself as food to save the man. However, it turned out that the old man was a fairy, who had disguised himself as a beggar to test the kindness of children. The fairy was so moved by Tho Trang’s self-sacrifice that he took the rabbit with him to the moon. Tho Trang has since become a ritual object during the Mid-Autumn Festival.

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