The lion dance troupes are sometimes accompanied by various characters such as the Big Head Buddha. Photo shows the Big Head Buddha perform on the stage before the salon. [Photo: Newsgd.com/Monica]
Spring Festival is right around the corner. For locals in Guangdong, some traditional customs shall never be missed for celebrating Lunar New Year, including pasting Spring Festival couplets, New Year pictures and paper-cut for window decoration, watching lion dance, sending and getting red packet, and more.
Maybe you have known all these clearly, but do you know that among all the traditional customs for Spring Festival, many of them are actually intangible cultural heritages?
A group photo of the guests at the salon. [Photo: Newsgd.com/Monica]
Recently, an exhibition themed on “When intangible cultural heritage meets with Spring Festival” is being held at the M Space of IFC Tower in Zhujiang New Town, Guangzhou from Jan. 9 to Feb. 10. It showcases four major intangible cultural heritages that are closely related to Spring Festival, which are festoon lion head, New Year wood-block print, Shiwan pottery sculpture and Chinese Calligraphy.
On the evening of Jan. 12, a culture salon took place at the exhibition, featuring inheritors of the above mentioned intangible cultural heritages. Dozens of citizens attended the event to experience the vibe for Spring Festival in advance.
Li Wei (R) shows how to make a small part for the festoon lion head. [Photo: Newsgd.com/Monica]
Foshan festoon lion head
At the salon, handicraftsman Li Wei introduced the history and his family tradition of making festoon lion heads and taught attendees to make parts. A young lady tried to make a paper wrapped iron wire and failed several times. She said that it seemed easy but it was pretty hard.
Created during the reign of Emperor Qianlong in the Qing Dynasty, Foshan festoon lion head is one of the oldest ethnic Han handicrafts in Guangdong, with a history of more than 200 years. Foshan festoon lion head by the Li Family is lifelike, bright-colored, exquisite and solid. There are over 1,300 knots for one festoon lion head, which is the most compared with other kinds of festoon lion heads.
Li Wei is the only representative inheritor of Foshan festoon lion head at the national level. The Li Family is also the only family in Foshan which has been engaging in making festoon lion heads for five successive generations.