Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance
October 3, 4, 5, 2017

Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance

The Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance, another example of Hong Kong's traditional culture, is a main part of the celebrations of the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Tai Hang is an area in Causeway Bay, in Hong Kong Island, where the origins of this tradition took place over a century ago.

The Tai Hang Fire Dragon tradition started when the village was ravaged by a typhoon and a plague on the eve of the Mid-Autumn festival. According to the legend, the fortune tellers warned that to be rid off the chaos, a fire dance had to be staged for three days and three nights during the upcoming Full Moon.

And so, a "Fire Dragon" was built from straw and covered with joss sticks which were lit at night. The Fire Dragon then paraded through the streets of Tai Hang for three days and three nights, and the plague was gone.

Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance

Since then, this tradition has been carried on every year during the Mid-Autumn festival. The 67-metre Fire Dragon will wind through the streets of Tai Hang, like it did over a century ago with over 300 performers, 70,000 incense sticks, and lots of firecrackers.

Making the Fire Dragon

When and Where is the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance 2017?

The Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance 2017 will be held October 3, 4, and 5, 2017 at 8:15 p.m. in Tai Hang, Causeway Bay along Lily Street, Ormsby Street to Tung Lo Wan Road (Best vantage point @ Wun Sha Street) :

Tai Hang Fire Dragon Parade Route

To Get There take the MTR to Tin Hau MTR Station Exit A1, cross King's Road and turn right. Walk straight to the junction of Causeway Road and Tung Lo Wan Road on the left to enter Tung Lo Wan Road which leads to the Tai Hang area where the Fire Dragon Dance area is.

On the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival, the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance Parade extends to Victoria Park during the annual Urban Mid-Autumn Lantern Carnival.

The Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance has been inscribed onto the third national list of intangible cultural heritage and is really a treasure, if you have a chance to witness it, don't miss it!

Here's a peek, click the arrow to watch a short video:

For more information on this year's Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance Parade, check out the official site: www.taihangfiredragon.hk

More Fire Dragon Dances: The Pok Fu Lam Fire Dragon Dance

On the night of Mid-Autumn Festival, the small village of Pok Fu Lam has staged its own Fire Dragon Dance for decades, and although on a smaller scale, it's just as full of the colorful traditions, noise and ferocious flaming dragons. The Fire Dragon Dance is the centerpiece of the Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations in Pok Fu Lam.

Pok Fu Lam Fire Dragon Dance

In 2013, for the first time, it made its way to Aberdeen Harbour and joining the King 30-metre Dragon, were seven smaller nine-metre baby dragons. In Aberdeen the dragons made its way from the Tin Hau Temple on through the Aberdeen Promenade before proceeding to Waterfall Bay where the parade ended with the "Dragon's Return to the Sea..."

The 2017 Pok Fu Lam Fire Dragon Parade dates are TBA, but will likely be on October 4, 2017 from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm, starting from Pok Fu Lam Village and ending at Waterfall Bay with the "dragon's return to the sea" ritual. Best vantage point if you are visiting is at the entrance of Pok Fu Lam Village. You can take bus 91 from Central Ferry Pier Terminus to Pok Fu Lam, it takes about 15 minutes.

Making the dragon A well-made fire dragon is essential for a well-performed fire dragon dance. Mr. Nan said the fire dragon is made of hay, bamboo sticks, metal wire, and large sunflower leaves. The most complex part is the head. “Choose the most beautiful bamboo for the dragon head,” he said. “The most important part of the crafting is the skeleton. If the skeleton is not strong enough, we will need to add two extra pieces of rattan. The core of the whole dragon is here.” There are special requirements for the hay as well. Mr. Nan explained that the hay in Hong Kong is only for cattle or race horses. Nowadays, the villagers buy the hay from mainland China. The dragon tail is constructed from large sunflower leaves, the whiskers are made of banyan tree roots, and the “Dragon Pearl” is made of a torch. Flashing lights are inserted into the fluff balls, forming a spectacular glowing dragon when lit.

Mid-Autumn Festival Celebrations 2016

The Mid Autumn Festival - September 15, 2016

Urban Mid-Autumn Carnival at Victoria Park - Thursday, September 15, 2016 - 8:00pm 11:00pm

Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance and Parade - Tai Hang, Causeway Bay, September 14, 15, 16, 2016 - 8:15 p.m.

Mid-Autumn Lantern Displays in Tsim Sha Tsui - Thursdays through Sundays September 2-25, 2016 from 6:30 pm to 11:00 pm with extended hours on September 15.

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