Lion Dance Festival in Taishan

Lion Dance Culture Festival in Taishan, Taiwan

Yesterday I went to the Taishan Lion Dance Culture Festival (泰山獅王文化節). The festival featured a lion dancing competition with teams from around Taiwan. I once stumbled across lion dancing at at small temple in Zhonghe, but this was the first time I had seen lion dancing teams competing with each other.

Taipei County Commissioner at the Taishan Lion Dance Festival

The festival opened with a group drumming performance. Taipei County Commissioner Chou Hsi-wei (周錫瑋) was there to welcome everyone. He is pictured above drumming with the Mayor of Taishan. There was also a parade featuring students from local primary schools and the competing teams.

The teams obviously put a huge amount of work into training for the event. They are highly skilled and some of the moves are breathtaking. The photo above shows the lion dancers practicing their routine. In case you’re wondering whether the dancers ever fall off, two competitors left the event in an ambulance. I hope they’re OK.

The above photo shows the dancers competing. It is not just about acrobatics though. There are many intricate movements which make the lion appear to have a life of its own.

In addition to the Lion Dance competition there was also a display of lion heads in the Taishan Sports Centre. It had various styles of lion heads from around Taiwan and also from China, Indonesia and Japan. The festival was a wonderful event and it showcased another amazing aspect of Taiwanese culture. If you ever get the chance to see lion dancing don’t miss it!

*Thanks to Peter for for informing me about this event. More photos in the Taishan Lion Dance Festival set at flickr.