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Chan Tak-fai, the late commander-in-chief and organiser of the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance, was officially honoured as ‘bearer of the fire dragon dance’ on the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Affectionately known as Fai Gor, or ‘Brother Fai’, within the community, he had performed in the fire dance for over 60 years and was one of very few individuals in Hong Kong who were familiar with the construction of the dragon, the dance and the ceremonies conducted during the event.
Meanwhile, KC Chan has been involved with the fire dragon dance for over a decade. With his family residing in Tai Hang, he first participated in the parade as an 8-year-old and later took part in the dance. He now acts as a photographer at the event. Although he doesn’t live in the neighbourhood, he says the festival attracts youngsters — like himself — because of its distinct position as a historically remarkable event. “Tai Hang has evolved into an area with a lot of unique qualities,” observes Chan. “That has inspired people to move to the area, and for them to band together for this annual experience.”
“As I continued to help out, I got to know a group of great people. They’re doing the same thing as me, and everyone has the same goal,” he adds.
Chan Tin-kuen, Hong Kong historian and author