Not only were the students and staff of St. Andrew’s and St. Anne's treated to a visually stunning lion dance this morning, but they were also showered with wishes for good fortune.
The full-school assembly was a standing-room-only affair that included members of the Parents Guild who organized it.
“This is the most important festival for the Chinese community,” says Fanny Zhang, one of the parents who handed out red envelopes containing chocolate and the occasional monetary gift to everyone entering Ketchum Auditorium.
“No matter their generation, if they are from China or born in Canada, it is important to their heritage.”
It’s also an interactive way to introduce Chinese culture to everyone at SAC and SAS, which goes along with our equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) mission. Two members of the Chinese Cultural Society, Kei Kang and Shawn Chen, introduced the Lat Yip Dragon Lion Team, a Toronto-based Chinese kung fu performance group, which put on a colourful and interactive show.
The lion dance had the audience in awe as the two lions chased away evil spirits through their dance, accompanied by members clashing cymbals, a gong, and a drum. Each lion costume has two performers, one at the head and one at the body. The lions made their way up the aisles of the auditorium, “biting” the heads of students to drive away evil spirits. This prompted an enthusiastic response from everyone in attendance.
The performers followed up the dance with thrilling kung fu demonstrations. Not only is this a form of entertainment, but it is also a display of strength, determination, and energy.
Happy Lunar New Year to all who celebrate!