Thursday, September 22, 2011

Dragon Dance

I often go back and forth on whether I should feature cultural practices that have some origin in religious belief at some point in the distant past. In some cases the LEGO creation is just too good to miss, as in Legohaulic's recent dragon dance scene. References to dragons go back 7,000 years in Chinese culture. Dragons were at some points seen as mythical beings associated with rivers, oceans, the weather, or other phenomena. There were temples devoted to the local dragons, where supplicants could ask for rain, or safe sea-journey, or for the river to not flood. Dragon imagery can be seen in temples and other religious art. Over time dragons became a symbol of China, of the emperor, of power, and dragons worked their way into Chinese culture. One aspect of this is the dragon dance, going back almost two millennia, where many dancers carry a long dragon puppet/costume through the streets as part of cultural festivals. Okay, so this is a pretty long ways from a religious MOC, but, as I said, it's way too cool for me to ignore:

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