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.
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.
When and Where is the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance 2017?
The Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dances 2017 will be held October 3 - 6, 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)
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, on October 4, 2017, the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance Parade extends to Victoria Park
during the annual Urban Mid-Autumn Lantern Carnival. The parade is expected to reach Victoria Park around 10:45 pm.
Traditionally, the parade has been held for three days and three nights. This year it has been extended an extra day, Friday which will enable more visitors to experience this fantastic local custom.
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.
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 will be on October 4, 2017 from 6:30pm to 11:45 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.
The Making of the Fire Dragon
Ng Kong Nan is an experienced fire dragon dancer from Pok Fu Lam, he began to teach the craft at the youth centre a few years ago and hoped to encourage youngsters to participate and realize the significance of the traditional festival, carrying on this piece of cultural heritage.
According to Mr. Nan, a well-made fire dragon is essential for a well-performed fire dragon dance. A fire dragon is made of hay, bamboo sticks, metal wire, and large sunflower leaves. The most complex part is the head.
Naturally, the bet and most beautiful bamboo must be chosen for the dragon head. The core of the whole dragon is in its skeleton, and this is where the most important part of the crafting lays. If the skeleton is not strong enough, extra pieces of rattan must be added to support it.
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 the stunning glowing spectacle when lit.