Last Updated on 10 February 2014 Monday 10:32AM

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Best time and locations to watch Lion Dances in Tawau during the 2014 Chinese New Year. A vibrant and colorful celebration for every Chinese New Year in Tawau. Lion is a symbol of strength and prosperity, it brings joy and happiness, especially to kids. The following Lion Dances events are open to the public :

1- 斗湖八仙廟  Temple of the Eight Immortals in Tawau
31st January 2014 Friday Morning 9:00AM to 12:00PM
First Day of the New Year. All the 5 Lion Groups in Tawau will come in turn to this temple first for "Blessing Ceremony" before they started to go house-to-house to perform. Each Lion Group has their own "Blessing Ceremony" cession which lasted for 20 minutes before the next group.  During the ceremony they perform with their best and in highest spirit because this is their first public perform in the first day of a new year.

After this Temple of Eight Immortals, each group proceed to the next temple Lean Fu Tang Temple a kilometers away.

2- 斗湖蓮湖雷藏寺 Tawau Buddhist Meditation Society- Lean Fu Tang, Sabah
31st January 2014 Friday Morning 9:00AM to 12:00PM
First Day of the New Year. This is the second temple all Lion Groups will pay their visit in the first day of new year.

3- 斗湖籃球會2014年甲午年新春龍麒獅採總青TAWAU BASKETBALL STADIUM
9th February 2014 Sunday 4:00PM to 6:00PM
This annual Lion Dance Performance shown case selected best lions groups in Tawau. Being in a small stadium the audient can watch the performance in a close range.

4- 斗湖普照寺2014 採總青大團拜 The Tawau Buddhist Lodge
14th February 2014 Friday 4:00PM - 5:00PM
At the basketball court of The Tawau Buddhist Lodge. 4 Lion Groups and a Wu Shu (Kungfu) Group will perform. That day is the last day of a 2 weeks celebration of the new year.  Chinese celebrate this last day (15th Day) and called the day 鬧元宵.

After this 15th Day (14th February 2014) the Chinese communities will be back to their normal busy and hectic life until the next new spring arrive.

5- 斗湖2014新春龍麟獅大會串 Lion and Dragon Dance Festival
26th January 2014 Sunday 4:00pm to 9:00pm
This annual Lion Dance Festival held at Tawau Community Center. 11 Lion Groups of Tawau performed in 2014 Festival.


Chinese Temples to visit during Chinese New Year 2014 in Tawau:
The following Chinese Temples are brightly decorated during the Spring Festival and open to the public:

1- 斗湖蓮湖雷藏寺 Tawau Buddhist Meditation Society- Lean Fu Tang, Sabah

2- 斗湖普照寺(佛教居士林) The Tawau Buddhist Lodge

3- 斗湖八仙廟  Temple of the Eight Immortals in Tawau


5- 斗湖天后宮  Temple of Heavenly Holy Mother



Tiger Dance






in Tawau Basketball Stadium
21-2-2010 4:00-6:00PM

An old Chinese tradition and customs, the spectacular firecrackers fired up in air to greet the "NEW YEAR" and welcome to the community during the Lunar Chinese New Year.




「庚寅年新春龍麒獅採總青」,成功籌獲八萬令吉建築經費。斗湖籃球會透過採總青活動,為球員及工人宿舍籌建築費,以期工程早日完成。 斗湖籃球會第二階段發展大藍圖重點項目的球員工人宿舍,設有球員宿舍、休閒中心等,全面提升籃球會硬體設施水平,為巿民提供完善的休閒場所。





A time for Wushu,  Lion Dance, Dragon Dance, Unicorn Dance and lot of singing.

The Lion Dance is part of the Chinese traditional dance whereby dancers will try to imitate the movement of the lion by putting on a lion-design costume.

According to Chinese tradition, the lion dance is normally performed as a ritual to remove bad or evil spirits.

As for the Chinese community in Malaysia, the Lunar New Year begins with prayers and rituals gathering at the main Chinese Temple in the capital early in the morning and later followed by lion dance performances.

The Lunar New Year celebration will last for about 15 days and the Chap Goh Mei celebration will mark the end of the festivities.

21-2-2010 4:25PM UNICORN DANCE

Three Unicorns from the Hakka Association first blessed the organizers before the show proper began.

21-2-2010 4:30PM DRAGON DANCE

Chinese people have long held the belief that they are descendents of the dragon. Though dragon is regarded as a symbol of evil in western cultures, in China the dragon is held in high esteem for its dignity and power for good.

Dragon Dance is the Chinese most vibrant and spectacular way of expressing fondness for this magnificent mystical creature. Over time, this dragon dance has become an indispensable performance during the Chinese Spring Festival.

And today we'll watch a dragon dance by ex-students of Sabah Chinese High School in our basketball stadium in this little unknown town of Tawau.


A family of Lions (2 adults and 2 small lion cubs) greets children during the performance.

This Lion family from HockKien Association danced their way into the hearts of onlookers mostly came in family groups.

WU-SHU (Kung-Fu)
21-2-2010 5:15PM  WU-SHU (Kung-Fu)

It is amazing to see children being able to perform well. Wushu Masters also teaches students discipline.

21-2-2010 5:50PM TIGER DANCE

Jumping big cat - the Tiger Dancers showing off their acrobatic skills during their performance at Tawau Basketball Stadium  on the 8th day of Chinese New Year.

Many have been eagerly waiting for the dance in this Chinese New Year. Finally, they saw for the first time this long awaited Tiger Dance presented by Buddhist Association.

It was former Home Minister Tan Sri Ghazalie Shafie ( who passed away in January 2010 only a month earlier ) who in the late 1970s proposed the Tiger dance be performed by Malaysian because the tiger “is Malaysian”.

This Chinese New Year is the year of the Tiger, a year for tiger dance performances. Tiger dance, like the lion’s, originated from China centuries ago. It has a style and choreography similar to the lion dance.

Tigers have long been regarded as a majestic symbol of authority.  a “ deity dubbed God of wealth”.

Year of the Tiger has historically been a year of positive changes and opportunities. Those who want to succeed adopt the characteristics of a tiger in everything that they do. These characteristics are passion, courage, strength and determination.

People born in the Year of the Tiger have always been known to be competent leaders, driven by an unerring drive and ambitious nature.

Year of the Tiger is a year that is geared towards renewed prosperity, accomplishment and all-around success.

Introduced by Master Siow Ho Phiew, the tiger dance will complement the other long-established dances of Chinese New Year, the lion and dragon dances.

The tiger dance originated centuries ago in China. It has a style and choreography that is similar to the lion dance. Tigers have long been regarded as a majestic symbol of authority and is sometimes even revered as a deity, being dubbed the “God of Wealth”.

Tigers are believed to bring financial luck, so it’s no surprise that the tiger dance is much sought after during the start of the lunar new year as a symbolic way to ward off bad luck and spirits, and to usher in safety, prosperity and a successful year.

According to one source, the tiger dance originated about 300 years ago in the village of Lo Wu in Hainan. The village was at the time ruled by a celebrated female leader, Madam Xi. One of the ceremonies conducted whenever the local militia was about to leave the village for an expedition was the tiger dance.

Madam Xi and her troops were widely praised for restoring peace to Hainan, petitioning for governance in the town of Ya Zhou, and bringing new agricultural technology to the village.

To commemorate Madam Xi’s achievements, the villagers later made a habit of re-enacting the tiger dances performed during the launching of her military expeditions.

As with the lion dance, most tiger dance performances feature a pair of tigers, usually with two skilled martial arts exponents operating each tiger. The tiger dance starts off with the symbolic dotting of the eyes to “bring it (the tiger) to life”.

During the dance, the two tigers face off in a mock display of aggression with acrobatic movements that mimic those of actual tigers. The dancers’ athletic prowess, martial art skill and coordination are what count.

Tiger dance is visually striking.

Just as in the lion dance, the tiger dance usually makes use of props such as pillars and platforms on which the tigers negotiate and leap as they spar. In 2010, for the first time ever, the tiger dance is making its début in Malaysia to commemorate the Year of the Tiger

Before this, the tiger dance was not known at all in Malaysia, as we already have the lion and dragon dances. However, with the Year of the Tiger around the corner, it’s a great time for the tiger dance to make its début.

A majority of the moves from the tiger dance have been improvised. It makes sense for us to try new styles and techniques in the creation of Malaysia’s first tiger dance.

Lion Dance Troupes in Tawau

1 巴中校友会金龙团


3 斗湖佛教会醒狮团

Maha Bodhi Society Tawau

4 斗湖潮州公会醒狮团

Tawau Teo Chew Association

5 斗湖普照寺醒狮团 Pu Zhao Temple
6 斗湖海南会馆南狮团 Tawau Hainan Association
7 斗湖福建会馆京狮团 Tawau Hokkien Association
8 印尼打拉根百家姓协会醒狮团

Tarakan Chinese Association

9 拿笃育才校友会醒狮团  
10 拿笃德教会紫瑜阁醒狮团  
11 沙巴武術協會斗湖聯委會貔貅麒麟團 Sabah Wushu Association (SWA)

Dragon Dance in 2006 by ex-students of Sabah Chinese High School

Dragon Dance in 2006 by ex-students of Sabah Chinese High School


 February 10, 2014 10:33:11 AM

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