Chinese Lion Dance Costume 舞獅


Dublin Core


Chinese Lion Dance Costume 舞獅


Festival, Lion, Costume, Folk culture, Chinese New Year


A lion costume used a form of traditional dance in Chinese culture and other Asian countries in which performers mimic a lion's movements.

The lion dance is one of the most important traditions at Chinese New Year. It is performed to bring prosperity and good luck for the upcoming year. The lion dance is also a way to create a festive atmosphere and bring happiness.

Performed in a lion costume, accompanied by the music of beating drums, clashing cymbals, and resounding gongs, lion dances imitate a lion's various movements or demonstrate martial arts agility, depending on the style.


Three-kingdoms period (220–280 AD)


2-3 men size



Crafts Item Type Metadata

Crafting Methods

The Southern Lion has a single horn, and is associated with the legend of a mythical monster called Nian. The lion consists of a head which is traditionally constructed using papier-mâché over a bamboo frame covered with gauze, then painted and decorated with fur, and a body made of durable layered cloth trimmed with more fur. Newer lions however may be made with modern materials such as aluminium instead of bamboo and are lighter. Newer versions may also apply shinier modern material over the traditional lacquer such as sequin or laser sticker but they do not last as long as those with semi-dull lacquer. Depending on the lion type (Traditional or Modern), Different types of fur can be used.


Fabric, Plastic, Metal

Usage and Application

The lion dance is usually performed during the Chinese New Year and other Chinese traditional, cultural and religious festivals. It may also be performed at important occasions such as business opening events, special celebrations or wedding ceremonies, or may be used to honour special guests by the Chinese communities. Chinese lion dances are performed by two "dancers" in a lion costume, rather like a pantomime horse. The performers become the body of the lion: the one in front is the head and front limbs, the one behind is the back and hind legs. Performers' legs are dressed the same color as the lion's body, and sometimes the costume extends to shoes the shape and color of the lion's paws.

Interesting Facts

Legend has it that the emperor had a dream one night in which a strange looking animal saved his life. The next morning, the emperor described the dream to his ministers. One minister told the emperor that the strange animal resembled a creature from the West, a lion. Since the strange animal saved the emperor in his dream, the lion quickly became a symbol of good luck throughout China. It was believed that a dancing lion chased away evil spirits.



“Chinese Lion Dance Costume 舞獅,” CCCH9051 Group 64, accessed October 1, 2023,

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