I live in Singapore, and lion dances are a real nuisance (at least to me) during the Chinese New Year because of the loud drums and cymbal 'music' that always accompanies it. I realize you didn't mention the loud chinese drums that always accompanies the dance. They use thick wooden drumsticks and a big drum that is very bassy and can be heard from probably 1km away if there aren't any sound buffers
I learned about this in Chinese class a very long time ago, so my memory is very hazy, but that there is a story or legend behind the lion dance. A very long time ago, some chinese general was out numbered in a battle or something, or he was up against elephants. so to scare away the enemy he got his soldiers to dress up in the lion costume to scare the elephants, leading to widespread chaos and his eventual victory.
I can't really remember exactly, but at least something interesting for you to research on!