Tuankou The Blue Lion Lantern of Lin’an

The Blue Lion Lantern of Lin’an, a unique traditional folk cultural activity in Tuankou Town, Lin’an District, Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province, has become a shared cultural memory for local people and beyond due to its unique charm and profound historical and cultural significance. The perfect combination of the Blue Lion and lantern not only provides the audience with a visual and auditory feast but also serves as a vivid interpretation and inheritance of traditional culture.

Historical Origins of the Blue Lion Lantern

The origins of the Lin’an Blue Lion Lantern have deep connections with the Ge family. According to historical records, as early as the Qianlong period of the Qing Dynasty, the Ge family meticulously designed a ceremony featuring lanterns adorned with the divine Blue Lion to showcase the glory of their ancestors, thus initiating the splendid history of the Blue Lion Lantern. After hundreds of years of inheritance and development, this tradition gradually integrated more local characteristics and cultural elements, evolving from a family ritual into a symbolic cultural event for Tuankou Town and even Lin’an District.

The Blue Lion, as a mythical creature in Chinese traditional culture, symbolizes bravery, auspiciousness, and strength, while lanterns represent brightness, hope, and beauty. When these two elements are combined, a unique artistic effect is produced, making the Blue Lion Lantern an important symbol for warding off evil spirits and praying for blessings.

Artistic Features of the Blue Lion Lantern

The Lin’an Blue Lion Lantern is renowned for its exquisite performance skills and rich cultural connotations. During the performance, dancers don elaborate costumes, holding lanterns and Blue Lion props, while dancing gracefully to the accompaniment of drums. Through their flexible movements, tacit cooperation, and superb skills, they seamlessly integrate the majesty of the Blue Lion with the elegance of the lantern, presenting vivid and awe-inspiring scenes.

During the performance of the Blue Lion Lantern, dancers also change formations and movements according to the storylines and the needs of the occasion. Classic movements such as “lion rolling the embroidered ball” and “lion spiraling” not only test the dancers’ physical fitness and skill level but also provide profound interpretations and inheritances of traditional culture. Additionally, the design and production of lanterns constitute a unique art form. Craftsmen use materials such as paper, bamboo, and silk to create lanterns of various shapes and vibrant colors, adding endless charm and visual enjoyment to the performance.

Inheritance and Development of the Blue Lion Lantern

However, with the changes of time and social development, the Lin’an Blue Lion Lantern once faced the risk of being lost. Due to the gradual passing of the older generation of artists and the waning interest of the younger generation in traditional culture, the inheritance and development of the Blue Lion Lantern fell into difficulties. Fortunately, with the joint efforts of the local government and the people, this precious intangible cultural heritage has been revitalized.

To protect and inherit the Lin’an Blue Lion Lantern, the local government has invested a large amount of manpower, material resources, and financial resources. They have organized professionals to conduct in-depth research and organization of historical materials related to the Blue Lion Lantern, invited elder artists to pass on their skills and experiences, and held various training sessions and seminars to improve the skill level of the new generation of dancers. At the same time, various cultural exchange and exhibition activities have been actively carried out to promote the Blue Lion Lantern to a broader stage.

In addition, the public actively participates in the inheritance and development of the Blue Lion Lantern. They spontaneously organize performance teams to bring wonderful performances to the audience during festivals and celebrations. Some enthusiastic individuals support the inheritance work of the Blue Lion Lantern through donations and providing venues. This government and public participation model provides strong guarantees for the inheritance and development of the Blue Lion Lantern.

Current Situation and Future of the Blue Lion Lantern

Today, the Lin’an Blue Lion Lantern has become one of the important cultural tourism resources in the local area. It attracts a large number of tourists every year to appreciate and experience this unique folk cultural activity. The performance of the Blue Lion Lantern not only brings economic benefits to the local area but also promotes the development of related industries such as handicraft production and tourism services. At the same time, it has also become an important part of the cultural and entertainment life of the local people, enriching their spiritual and cultural life and promoting social harmony and development.

Looking to the future, the Lin’an Blue Lion Lantern will continue to be inherited and developed to bring joy and cultural enjoyment to more people. We believe that with the joint efforts of the government and all sectors of society, this brilliant traditional cultural treasure of the Blue Lion Lantern will shine even more brightly.


[Lin’an] Welcoming the Asian Games with Quanxin, “Noisy” Mountain Village with Qing Lion Lanterns. Date: 2023-06-21 16:19 Source: Hulu.com

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