Ahead of the Chinese New Year on Monday, the Shaolin Lion Dance Troupe will be performing a traditional Chinese dance before the Manchester United game at Emirates Stadium.

This traditional dance dates back a few thousand years. There are a number of theories about its origin, but the most popular version is that the Chinese needed something for protection, to give them good luck, prosperity, health, longevity and blessing.

The troupe’s Grandmaster Yap Leong said: "We are delighted to be welcomed to perform at such a prestigious match and we hope all the supporters enjoy our show. We have specially commissioned a new red Chinese Lion in tribute to Arsenal."

Arsenal’s popularity continues to grow in China and a special webchat with Thierry Henry, Aaron Ramsey, Kieran Gibbs and Alex Song earlier this month attracted 3.5million Chinese supporters.

Arsenal players also recently recorded Happy New Year messages in Mandarin and tried their hands at painting on traditional Chinese scrolls to mark the special date, footage of which will air in China this weekend.

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19 Jan 2012