Mid-autumn festival fire dragon dances

Now, after the lanterns and moon cakes, what else is missing? The Fire dragon dance! Fire dragon dance is the most traditional custom on the mid-autumn Festival in Hong Kong, dating back some 100 years. Every year, grand fire dragon shows are performed for three nights in a row in Tai Hang of Causeway Bay.

The fire dragon is more than 70 meters long with its body divided into 32 segments, all of which are stuffed with straw and stuck full of incense sticks. On the festive night, the streets and alleyways in the area are packed with fire dragons joyfully dancing to drum music against the backdrop lit by colored lights, creating a fantastic atmosphere for the festival.

The Tai Hang Fire Dragon has its origin in 1880. At that time, Tai Hang was only a small Hakka village and the villagers, most of them farmers and fishermen, led a simple and peaceful life. The tale started when the villagers once killed a serpent in a stormy night, but in the next morning, the dead body of the serpent had disappeared. A few days later, a plague spread out in Tai Hang and many people died of infection. Meanwhile, a village elder saw Buddha one night in his dream and was told to perform a Fire Dragon Dance and to burn fire crackers in the Mid-Autumn Festival. The sulfur in the fire crackers drove away the disease and the villagers were saved. Since then, every year the Tai Hang residents would perform the Fire Dragon Dance for three nights in the mid-autumn Festival in memory of the incident.

More than 300 performers will be bringing the 67-meter-long smoky, flaming beast, studded with 72,000 incense sticks, to live this year! How exciting!

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3 responses to “Mid-autumn festival fire dragon dances

  1. Pingback: Top ten posts on bluebalu: Living in Hong Kong in 2011 (part 1) « bluebalu: Living in Hong Kong·

  2. Pingback: 4 Different ways to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival 2013 | bluebalu: Living in Hong Kong·

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