A friend commented that I posted too many posts on this website as he was struggling to catch up. But he added yesterday, “However I am sure we all want to hear about the Lion Dance tomorrow.”
Why was my friend contradicting himself?
Well, today’s Lion Dance in Southampton was full of surprises. First I bumped into Alex, Mae and their friends, later I also found my Scottish friend Fiona, her husband Ken, and their children Isla and Arran in the crowd.
We are all from Chandler’s Ford, but this morning we all gathered outside West Quay in Southampton for the Lion Dance. The breeze was pleasant, and it almost felt like spring.
I was also surprised there were actually a few Lion Dance performances in town today, however there were not much publicity. Two Lion Dance groups were busy in town today: Yi Quin Lion Dance and Waterside Lion Dance.
The Lion Dance performed by Waterside Lion Dance started with an auspicious eye-dotting ceremony, to awaken the lion.
The eye-dotting ceremony is also called 开光 (pronounce kāi guāng in Mandarin, and Hoi Gwong in Cantonese) to awaken the lion and allow the light and spirit to enter. This ceremony is also known as 点睛（pronounce diǎn jīng in Mandarin, and Dim Jing in Cantonese.)
By consecrating the lion, evil is expelled and enters the light, purity and hope.
Eye-dotting ceremony is normally conducted by a person of a high status. I watched as Mr Leo Kan from Winchester awakened the lion today. He dotted many parts on the lion’s head, such as the mouth, ears, horn, and eyes. While he was awakening the lion, Ricky Tang, the founder of Waterside, uttered auspicious blessings in Cantonese.
For more information about the eye-dotting ceremony, visit:
- Ging Wu Kung Fu Martial Arts Association
- Hoi Gwong – Giving Life to the Lion
- Success Lion Dance website – Eye Dotting Ceremony
I have put some photographs in a slideshow to share the wonderful Lion Dance from Southampton today with you.