KUCHING: The Chinese New Year (CNY) celebration this year will be a gloomy one as there will be no sounds of drumbeats and sights of lion and dragon dances.
The lion and dragon dances are among the most important traditions during CNY, and it is to bring prosperity, happiness and good luck for the upcoming year.
According to traditional Chinese belief, the lion dance is also performed to chase away evil spirits.
The Nanyang Wushu Federation of Sarawak, which was established in 1974, for the first time, will not be performing any lion and dragon dances as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Its chairman Datuk Seri Prof Dr Song Swee Hee said normally, the federation would receive about 80 to 90 bookings for their performances during CNY.
“Every CNY, we performed house-to-house lion and dragon dances. This year, due to Covid-19, we can’t and better not do it,” he said.
He said that it is sad to see that the traditional custom of house-to-house visiting and lion dance performance has to be skipped, adding that what is important is to prevent all sorts of gathering for now to curb the spread of Covid-19.
“We also support Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC)’s instruction that lion and dragon dance performances are prohibited during CNY as this is for the safety and benefit of everyone,” said Dr Song.