me in the piazza

I'm a writer, publishing both as SJ Rozan and, with Carlos Dews, as Sam Cabot. (I'm Sam, he's Cabot.) Here you can find links to my almost-daily blog posts, including the Saturday haiku I've been doing for years. BUT the blog itself has moved to my website. If you go on over there you can subscribe and you'll never miss a post. (Miss a post! A scary thought!) Also, I'll be teaching a writing workshop in Italy this summer -- come join us!
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The Chinese dancing lions

In yesterday's comments Laraine asked about the lions. It's a good question and the answer's interesting, so I'll share it here.

The lions (and sometimes, dragons; the lions have the big square heads) come out for lots of festivals. They dance on the New Year, but they'll come dance for good luck at your new business opening, for example. Most of them belong to martial arts schools and were originally, and still are, used for fund raising. They dance at your place to scare the demons away (same reason the firecrackers are used). You place a few bucks -- sometimes inside a cabbage -- where the lion can grab it. Everyone's happy. These two lions, though, aren't martial arts school lions. They belong to the New York United Lion and Dragon Dance Troupe. They take the money from the cabbages, also, but their whole reason for existence is to dance. They go to international lion and dragon dance competitions -- I saw one once, it was spectacular -- as well as performing around town and at festivals. These guys danced at a higher level, and for longer, than the martial arts school ones I've seen before.

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