Sunday, February 28, 2010

Lucky Entertainment

It may be the year of the tiger, but the king of the jungle still rules. With pride, we'll watch our guests roar with amazement as talent sharpens it's claws and permanently marks our wedding day.

Okay. Maybe the "marking" went a little far, but bad-puns aside, we'll be having a lion dance at our reception!

Me: Mom, mom! We're having a lion dance okay?
Penga-Mom: What? A line dance? That's awesome, it'll make for good pictures!
Me: ... LION dance.
Penga-Mom: Line dance?
Penga-Mom: Ohhh. Lion dance. Okay. But I like the line dance idea.
Me: ...
(source) Lion, I say!

The whole thing came about rather unexpectedly, actually. As a child, I spent every Chinese New Year and Moon Festival in the back of my grandfather's Chinese community center, waiting to serve food in my cheongsam while the old folks did tai chi. He would often bring in a lion dance troupe to perform as well, so naturally all thoughts of lion dances bring back memories of being bored out of my mind and not being allowed to snack on the food before the program was finished.

So when Sak's aunt brought up the idea several months ago (she has a friend in the troupe club), I dismissed the idea rather quickly.

But for some reason or another, I kept going back to the thought. I saw great pictures from performances done at Mrs. Green Tea's and Mrs. Toucan's receptions. I started thinking that it would probably mean a lot to my grandfather, who cannot come due to his bedridden state of health. Performances are only 15-20 minutes long, anyway, what could it hurt to at least check the prices?
(source) I'm digging the team's purple lion.

Well, turns out it's a donation, and a suggested amount of $150 per lion. A lot cheaper than a San Franciscan lion, that's for sure. But I have no idea what the group is like, since (like many a friendor), all I have is a first name and a phone number rather than an informative website with pictures and videos. The best I could find are a few flickr photos, so blind faith it has to be. We booked anyway, since there is no up-front payment required. Apparently, we are to "feed" the lions their donation in lai see (red envelopes), after the performance. If anyone wants to elaborate on this custom, please do. My grandfather always got his lions for free, so I've only seen them "eat" food like oranges and lettuce.
feeding lion dance
(source) Hungry, hungry lion!

While my excitement for the idea is slowly growing on me, Sak's has been there since day one. He's never really seen a lion dance in person, so he's definitely looking forward to it.

One Chinese lion dance at our Japanese Cultural Center reception? Check.
lion dance
(source) Coming right at ya!

Are you bringing traditions from your past to your wedding? What do you think about lion dances - scary or cool?


  1. Nice. Very um, cultural. :) I think they use like a mega large lai-see and feed it to the lion while it blinks its eyes at you :-P

  2. I think this is very cool and will be very exciting for the guests! :)