Dragon Lantern with Iron Balls of Zanhuang 赞皇铁球龙灯

Zanhuang Dragon Lantern with Iron Balls赞皇铁球龙灯(Zànhuáng tiě qiú lóng dēng) was learn from the military camp in Baoding by Wang Laoshuang in West Street Village in the 16th day of Emperor Guangxu in the Qing Dynasty (1890). It is performed at the festivals and holidays and stopped performing around 1931. In 1989, the art lovers of the West Street Village produced the new props, rehearsed(when people rehearse a play, dance, or piece of music, they practise it in order to prepare for a performance) it and began to perform formally in the first lunar month in 1990(20 years ago).

Zanhuang Dragon Lantern with Iron Balls is a special one of the folk dragon lantern in the flower fair. It doesn’t like the common dragon lantern that is lifted as a whole by people. It consists of the dragon’s head, dragon’s tail and iron wire ring, which is decorated by 28 iron balls. So it is lifted by 28 persons, which is more easy to control and change about 40 kinds of formations.

And the performance of Zanhuang Dragon Lantern with Iron Balls began with the traditional plays Liuhai Play with the Golden Toad, the Changes of Fish and Dragon, Two Dragon go out of Water and 8-shaped Cross, then the large-scale play Crap Jump over the Dragon Door, and then the Two Dragons Play with the Color Ball, Two Dragons Twist the Pole, Chasing, a set of Circle Rings, the Three-dimensional Cross Picture, Two Dragons Fighting in the Cloud Sea and Dragon go to the Sea. Especially at night, the colored dragon’body and other roles such as golden toad, crap, Liuhai, cloud and temporary ceremonial(something that is ceremonial relates to a ceremony or is used in a ceremony) gateway.

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