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Banban Dragon Lantern celebrate Women's Day in Zhangjiajie

News 2024/03/10 View:572

Zhang Fanshen led a team in a performance of Banban Dragon Lantern, a national intangible cultural heritage, in Cili county, Zhangjiajie, Central China's Hunan province, on Friday, International Women's Day.

"We had dance moves to create a formation of auspicious Chinese characters," says Zhang, who has practiced the dragon dance for several decades.

The dragon was adorned with bright lights on its head, and its long body was made up of several wooden boards — each affixed with some diamond-shaped colorful lanterns — while the dragon tail was decorated with auspicious fish patterns. "This symbolizes abundant harvests and national prosperity," says Zhang, who is also vice-president of the county's Banban dragon lantern association.

Originating in Cili, where various types of mulberry trees have been cultivated for silkworms, people perform dragon dances to pray for favorable weather in the region. Dragons are made with material related to their trade — lanterns, for instance, are crafted from silk.

"The making of props for the dragon dance requires exquisite bamboo weaving, woodworking, and painting skills," he says.

The dragon's head is tall and majestic, while the body usually consists of dozens, or possibly hundreds, of individual wooden boards.

"Through close cooperation between individuals and the use of linear and chain formations, various exquisite patterns are delivered through dancing," Zhang says.

To date, Zhang's association has attracted more than 1,100 performers from villages in the county, and training sessions have been staged at schools, he adds.

Source from chinadaily

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