Many companies and shops in Ho Chi Minh City and other parts of Vietnam are reopening after the celebration of Tet and a long week break. Philipp and I witnessed many performances around Ho Chi Minh City of lion and dragon dance like we had seen the 25th, 26th, and 27th of January the days the Vietnamese celebrate Tet in 2020.
We were interested to find out why there were still dances taking place in front of shops and companies a week after Tet was over? Was it a tradition, was there another occasion or was Tet not over?
My curiosity got to me and in my style, I walked up to the owner of one of the shops having one of the lion dances. I asked him why this celebration was taking place? With lots of excitement, he explained to me that this ritual will bring his shop good fortune. He mentioned that the dance symbolizes the removal of negative energies because the lion is a creature that brings good luck, health, and prosperity. I asked him if there was a cost to the dance, he smiled and said of course. He mentioned the fees range from several thousand VND to several million VND depending on the popularity of the group and how elaborate the show was.
We noticed that besides the fee they pay, many of the staff members of the company feed a lion lucky money, a practice known to locals as Li Xi.
Employees believe strongly that the dances dispel evil, bring luck and success to their business. We had a great time going from one performance to the next on Monday as shops opened one-by-one after the New Year.
I hope you enjoy the video we put together for you.