Lion In Culture
Lions are recurring symbols in the coat of arms of royalty and chivalry, particularly in the UK, where the lion is also a national symbol of the British people. Lions appear in the art of China, even though lions have never lived in China. No animal has been given more attention in art and literature. C.A.W. Guggisberg, in his book Simba, says the lion is referred to 130 times in the Bible, for example in 1 Peter 5:8 where the Devil is compared to a roaring lion: `seeking someone to devour`.
The lion can also be found in stone age cave paintings.
- Although lions are not native to China, the Chinese people believe that Lions protect humans from evil spirits, hence the Chinese New Year Lion Dance to scare away demons and ghosts.
- The lion is adopted by the British people as their mascot together with the bulldog. It is used like the FIFA World Cup mascot held in England in the year 1966 and the European Football Championships in 1996. The lion again became mascot with Goleo VI with your "pal" a talking football called "Pillie" for FIFA World Cup in 2006. A British group The Lighting Seeds inspired by the England football team emblem have written the song Three Lions which is the team`s nickname.
- The island of Singapore is named for the Malay word singa (lion), which itself is derived from the Sanskrit word सिंह siMha of the same meaning, and the Malay word pura, also derived from the Sanskrit word पुर pura (city), hence Singapura (Lion City). According to the legend in the Malay historical literary work, the Malay Annals, Singapore was named by Sang Nila Utama, a Sumatran prince of the Srivijaya empire, who encoutered a lion while hunting on the island in the 11th Century. The lion has since been used as a symbol of Singapore, appearing on the National Coat of Arms. The image of the Merlion is also derived from a chimera of a mermaid and lion.
- The lion appears on the National Flag and the Coat of Arms of Sri Lanka. It is meant to symbolise the Sinhala people (Sinhalese Singha = Lion"). Local folklore tells of Prince Vijaya, the first of the Sinhalese kings, as being the son of Sinhabahu, who was fathered by a lion.