Hong Kong: the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance is back from September 28 to 30

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  • This year marks the return of the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance to Hong Kong since 2019. A major cultural event with a century-old tradition (more than 140 years), included on the list of intangible cultural heritages of China.

The Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance is a spectacular event that traditionally takes place every year in Hong Kong. Paused during the Covid period, these 3 days of colorful and vibrant celebrations are back this year, from September 28 to 30. The Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance is a living testimony to Hong Kong culture and tradition. This unique event merges dance, art and spirituality into an unforgettable visual and audio experience.

His history
The Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance has its roots in a tradition dating back over 140 years (since 1880), when Tai Hang, located in Causeway Bay on Hong Kong Island, was still a small Hakka village populated mainly by farmers and of fishermen. According to legend, the villagers killed a snake there during a stormy night, but when they woke up the next morning, the snake was gone. Soon after, an epidemic hit Tai Hang hard, causing many casualties. During this difficult episode, a village elder dreamed of Buddha instructing him to perform a Fire Dragon Dance and burn firecrackers during the Mid-Autumn Festival. The villagers followed his instructions, and the belief took root that the sulfur from the firecrackers had chased away the disease, thus saving the village.

Since then, the people of Tai Hang perform the Fire Dragon Dance every year for three nights during the Mid-Autumn Festival. The Fire Dragon itself is an impressive sight to behold. This unique and fascinating creation nicknamed “Fire Dragon”, passed down from generation to generation, has been listed as the National Intangible Cultural Heritage of Hong Kong since 2011. The preparation phase requires more than a month of work. Carried by 300 people parading through the streets of Tai Hang, the Fire Dragon is 67 meters long and is made of 32 segments of straw and hemp rope, and decorated with more than 12,000 glowing incense sticks. His head weighs more than 50 kg!

The Fire Dragon Dance attracts many local spectators and tourists who come to witness this incredible spectacle. The highlight of the event is when the fire dragon springs into action! The dancers swirl it while lighting the firecrackers and fireworks inside. This creates an impressive scene of a dragon spitting flames and sparks. To observe it, the best place is undoubtedly Wun Sha Street. The dragon crosses it, head turned towards the spectators. Her dance ends here and the incense sticks are offered to the audience.

In parallel with this event and as part of the Mid-Autumn Festival, the destination will offer a whole series of festive night events not to be missed! Hong Kong will be lit up with hundreds of lanterns, and families will gather on the glittering waterfront and in parks adorned with fairytale decorations and lighting while enjoying the famous mooncakes.

More information about the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance : https://www.discoverhongkong.com/in/explore/culture/tai-hang-s-fire-dragon-dance.html

More information on Hong Kong’s traditional festivities: https://www.discoverhongkong.com/fr/explore/culture/celebrate-in-hong-kong-with-time-honored-festivities.html

Catherine Mills Avatar