Lions play a big part in Chinese culture; they signify power, stability, and courage. Traditional lion dances, performed as part of the Spring Festival (also known as Chinese New Year) are known around the world. During the Imperial Dynasties, lions were found guarding palaces, temples, and the houses of important people. This tradition continues today as each of MANN+HUMMEL’s six China locations has two stone lions guarding the entrance to the factory.
Guardians of our factories
The stone lions outside our factories are around two metres high. They are made of white marble, a noble colour, with the notable exception of our plant in Chongqing. There, as the local stone is different, the lions are a dark green colour. The guardian lions always come in pairs, a male and female, reflecting the yin and yang balance of the world. The male rests his paw upon an embroidered ball which represents supremacy. He is responsible for guarding the structure and external elements of the factory buildings. The female nurtures a cub under her paw to highlight the circle of life. She protects the workers inside the factories.
At the heart of opening ceremonies
Lions also play important roles at factory opening ceremonies. As you can see in the pictures accompanying this article, a pair of lions stands next to the stage to highlight good fortune and luck for the new plant.
The lions are decorated with bright red ribbons and during the ceremony our VIP guests colour their eyes red, the luckiest colour in China. More lions then take centre stage. The brightly coloured creatures perform a lively dance to scare off ghosts and evil spirits. The acrobatic movements are closely coordinated with the pounding drums, loud gongs, and crashing symbols. The noise is deafening and I am sure that, at the end, not a single ghost or spirit is left in the building!
By the way, do you know the difference between a lion dance and a dragon dance? The two can sometimes be mixed up but it’s easy to identify which is which. A lion dance involves two performers dancing in unison. A dragon dance is usually much bigger and longer and so many more dancers are needed to operate the creature.
Representing China and our locations
MANN+HUMMEL is collecting items from around the world to fill a time capsule as part of the company’s 75th Anniversary celebrations. The management of MANN+HUMMEL China wanted an essential that not only represented the country as a whole but also had a direct connection with our six locations across China.
Lions fill these two requirements and therefore, MANN+HUMMEL China have sent a pair of stone lions to Ludwigsburg as our contribution. We gave similar lion statue gifts to the honoured guests at the opening ceremony of MANN+HUMMEL in Shanghai. They bring good luck and protection to their owner and I am sure they will do the same for our company. The small statues will be on show this year along with the other essentials from MANN+HUMMEL locations around Germany and the globe.