In western stores, lions are thought to be fierce and dangerous; however, in Chinese mythology lions are used to help chase away evil spirits and bring good luck. They use the lions to celebrate happy occasions and new beginnings, such as weddings, Chinese New Year‚s, special occasions, and the opening of new stores and businesses.
The Chinese people feed the lions lucky foods of lettuce and tangerines and strings of lucky money. In turn, the lions help bring good fortune and chase away evil spirits. It takes years to learn the dance of the lion. Students attend local Kung Fu studios to condition their bodies, to learn the movements, and to play the rhythm drums and cymbals. The young lions have black whiskers.
The two Peking Lions are used on stage with acrobatic troupes. They are depicted as very playful and agile.