A rare, sentimental moment for my lion dance group and I. Last night we retired 8 of our lion heads. All of which have been with us from the very start. From before we even had a name, before we had uniforms (we used to just wear all black), to scraping what little money we had together to buy our very first lion head, to that one time I fell during practice and had to be rushed to the ER and get 9 stitches on my leg, and all the way to working our asses off to competing and placing in our very first national lion dance competition.
The same way a lion must be awakened with a dotting ceremony before a performance, a lion must be burned in order for it to go back to the heavens.
Three bows are played with the drum, cymbals, and gong, before each burn as one last sign of respect.