Lions play an important role in Chinese mythology, and represent joy and happiness. Lion dances are performed to bring luck and to get rid of the devil. This tradition can be traced back to a story that took place long ago.
During the rule of the legendary "Yellow Emperor", a monster called "Nien" appeared in China, attacking the men and the animals. It was so fast and fierce that neither the fox nor the tiger could beat it. In despair, the people asked the lion for help. The lion bravely rushed towards the monster and wounded it. The "Nien" fled, but declared to come back to take revenge.Marshall Islands
A year later, the "Nien" returned. Without the lion's protection this time, the people produced a "lion" out of bamboo and cloth. Two men crawled inside and approached the "Nien". The "lion" pranced and roared, driving the monster away again.
From then on, lion dances have become a yearly tradition to frighten evil away during the Chinese New Year.