Green Lion Characteristics

The Green Lion originates from Fujian and this style of lion dance requires a good martial arts foundation. The Fujian Green Lion has three different kinds of distinction:

1.Green Lion with White Eyebrow (Old Lion)

The green lion with white eyebrow symbolizes old lion with long white eyebrow, often with its mouth open, and has a gentle characteristic. It is often seen performing in Fujian household for ceremony to welcome the gods. During the ceremony, the leader of the lion dance troupe must first offer a red card (symbolize a gift for the first meeting with the owner of the household), a pair of red candles, a bunch of fragrance joss sticks, and some gold joss papers to the master of the house. The master of the house must first light the candles and burned the incenses to worship their household gods, then only can the green lion perform its respect to the gods to bring peace, luck, safety and abundance in their harvest for the household.

2.Green Face Sword Lion (Fighting Lion)

This category of lion has a characteristic that is aggressive, fierce, malicious-looking, and expression to massacre. This green lion was the creation of Han patriot to symbolize the Qing dynasty Manchu emperors’ clan of Aisin Gioro and hence by beating the green lion, it symbolized the beating of the Qing dynasty.
This style of lion has the feature of a green face with bucktooth, short hairs, a mouth that seldom open, a pair of shinny short knife that is inserted into the white eyebrows, and with the head and neck hanging with copper bells; a sight that causes people to be alarmed and trembled with fear. Thus, It can be seen that during the Manchu emperor clan of Aisin Gioro rule, the government and military were barbaric.
Presently this lion dance is practiced to exercise the body and to promote martial arts. Hence the features of the green lion have evolved and no longer malicious-looking.

3.Child Lion (also known as Song Jiang shi)

The Child Lion has a feature of a big head and a long body and during the performance, every team must have 108 people to depict the Liang mountain heroes of the Water Margin story (Shui Hu Zhuan). Only then can the lion troupe considered to have a complete team. As a result, for every performance, there will be 100 to 200 people with different weapons and costumes (Weapons and costumes as according to the story of Water Margin). Hence it is very difficult nowadays to see such grand performance.

Such performance was very popular in Fujian province of Jinjiang, Jinmen, Anxi, Yongchun, Nan’an, Dehua, Zhangzhou and Taiwan but nowadays the performance is simplified.