The Hong Kong Lantern Festival at Victoria Park-Causeway Bay wouldn’t be complete without the Tin Hau Fire Dragon Festival. I also went to the Tin Hau Fire Dragon Festival last year and it was terrific, probably one of the more exciting local cultural events in Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong Government’s Festive Hong Kong 2010 had an invitation you can not reject :
The three-day event commemorates a series of mishaps that befell Tai Hang in 1880 culminating in a plague breaking out in this small Hakka village. Appearing in the dream of a village elder, Buddha instructed the villagers to light firecrackers and perform a fire dragon dance for three days and nights during the Mid-Autumn Festival. The plague ended after the event. Since then, the ritual has been repeated annually and passed down from generation to generation. Application has been submitted for this cultural activity to be inscribed on the third national list of Intangible Cultural Heritage in China for its outstanding historical and cultural value. This Fire Dragon Dance, unique to Hong Kong, is representative in illustrating the creativity of Chinese Culture.
- The Fire Dragon is 67 metres long and its body is divided into 32 segments
- The Fire Dragon’s head weighs 48 kg
- The 3-day performance uses around 72,000 incense sticks
- Around 300 performers are required to support the Fire Dragon
- After the performance, the dragon will be delivered to the sea to symbolise the dragon returning to the sky after it has dispelled the plague in the village
Wanna have a look? In this next video I took the Fire Dragon enters Victoria Park for a round of local applause and excitement.
Here are some more videos from others more much closer:
Loud, crowded, polluted, with dragons and lions. You gotta love local festivals in Hong Kong.