Longest Chinese-style Dragon Journeys to Olympics

TORONTO, Jan. 21 /CNW Telbec/ - North America's longest Chinese-style dragon -- measuring 100m in length and owned by the Taoist Tai Chi Society of Canada - arrived today in Vancouver where it will join the festivities of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

Earlier this week, it was woken from its rest in the rafters above the Society's headquarters near Orangeville, Ontario, eased into a Purolator truck, and sent off in British Columbia. Making the journey with a second, shorter dragon, these symbolically rich "reptiles" are set to take part in a rarely seen, spectacular, double-dragon dance at the O Zone celebration site on Chinese New Year (Feb. 14, 2010).

The O Zone is an official celebration site of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games located in Richmond, B.C. Prior to the Vancouver Olympics the dragons had taken part in only four public events, in Toronto, Ottawa, Quebec City and Longueuil, Qc.

Members of the Vancouver branch of the Taoist Tai Chi Society will execute the graceful, sinuous movements of the dragons' choreography. Two shifts of 70 people each are required to manipulate the dragons - the longer dragon is supported with 50 poles, the other with 20 poles.

The dragon figure is known in Chinese culture as the absolute master of weather, which it controls so it will be ideal for agriculture and other needs of the population, such as the unfolding of the Olympic Games. The dragon also symbolizes prosperity.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, the Taoist Tai Chi Society of Canada is part of the International Taoist Tai Chi Society, a collection of affiliated not for profit organizations in 26 countries with 40-thousand-plus members worldwide that is headquartered near Orangeville, Ontario. The Society promotes well-being in the community through the practice of the Taoist Tai Chi(TM) internal arts of health. Its Canadian arm, a registered charitable organization, was founded in 1970 by Master Moy Lin-shin. For more information about the aims and objectives of the Society, visit www.taoist.org.

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited members of the media/

SOURCE Taoist Tai Chi Society of Canada

For further information: For further information: Media: Dave Draper, Toronto, (647) 984-5892; Jim Nicholson, Vancouver, (604) 765-6609

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