There is no stopping them. Year in, year out, they come. It's usually sometime just after New Year's day. You can hear them before they pounce upon your doorstep. I don’t mean the relatives (but them too). I mean the lions.
Prowling the neighborhood with a retinue of flutists and drummers in tow, they stop here and there, do a little dance, and if you want, put your head between their incisors to make you all the wiser they say. Except this year. This year they didn’t come. They were stopped dead in their tracks… by my mother-in-law. She stopped them from coming by dying.
Since my nephew, the village elder (a young elder at 30-something) that usually leads the lion dancing party was in mourning for his departed grandmother, decorum dictated that he refrain from taking part in the age-old annual custom. Now without anyone to follow in his footprints the whole village has found themselves mourning the loss of the lions and whatever wisdom they might bring.