Culture & Leisure

[Video] Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance as a Mid-Autumn blessing for peace

By ShanShan Kao

 

Fire and smoke mix with festival atmosphere through the backstreets of Tai Hang, locals dancing a "fire dragon" accompanied with firecrackers and drum beats.

It all started from a tale around 100 years ago in a Hakka fisherman village, Tai Hang, where a mysterious python brought a plague into the village. To ward off the disease, villagers made a huge dragon with straw and covered it with lit incense sticks and danced for three days and nights on the evening of the 14th, 15th and 16th of the eighth lunar month.

The ritual keeps until today with a whopping 300 performers, 72,000 incense sticks and a 67-metre dragon, with its head alone weighs 48kg.

Mr Vicky Wong, the dragon head leader said the most difficult part is that the fire dragon head is heavy. "You have to pass it to another person after holding it for a while." He said.

"We do this to inherit and pass on the cultural heritage of China. I've been dancing the fire dragon fot many years." He added.

This tradition has become part of China's official intangible cultural heritage since 2009.

 

《The Young Reporter》

The Young Reporter (TYR) is an English news publication produced by international journalism students at Hong Kong Baptist University. It started as a printed magazine in 1969. Today, TYR is produced across different platforms.

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