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Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance

Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance

In the 19th century, the people of Tai Hang began performing a dragon dance to stop a run of bad luck afflicting their village. More than a century later, their village has been all but swallowed up by Hong Kong’s fast-growing city. But the dragon keeps on dancing. It has even danced its way onto China’s third national list of intangible cultural heritage.

All this started a few days before the Mid-Autumn Festival, sometime around 100 years ago. First a typhoon slammed into the fishing and farming community of Tai Hang, this was followed by a plague, and then when a python ate the villagers’ livestock, they said enough was enough. A soothsayer decreed the only way to stop the chaos was to stage a fire dance for three days and nights during the upcoming festival. The villagers made a huge dragon from straw and covered it with incense sticks, which they then lit. Accompanied by drummers and erupting firecrackers, they did what they were told and danced for three days and three nights – and the plague disappeared.

The people of Tai Hang no longer fish or farm for a living, but they still perform the fire dragon dance on the three days that straddle the Mid-Autumn Festival. The event involves 300 performers, 72,000 incense sticks and a 67-metre-long dragon producing a spectacle of fire, smoke and dynamic fury as it dances and winds its way through the narrow backstreets of Tai Hang. Traditional, timeless and vibrant: this is Hong Kong as you dreamed it would be.

Info
Address:
Tai Hang, Hong Kong Island
Tel:
+852 2577 2649
+852 2808 4912
Website:
www.taihangfiredragon.hk
How to get there

MTR Tin Hau Station, Exit A1. Cross King's Road and turn right. Walk straight to the second junction on the left to enter Tung Lo Wan Road, which leads to the Tai Hang area.

Remarks: Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance is held in the Mid-Autumn Festival, please check the date from the above website.

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