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This September, Hong Kong's renowned "Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance" will return.

This September, Hong Kong’s renowned “Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance” will return.

This Mid-Autumn Festival, Hong Kong’s iconic Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance returns, reigniting the fires of this revered tradition for the first time since 2019. The extravagant dance, which is slated for three nights in a row from September 28 to 30, 2023, will involve more than 300 artists parading a magnificent 67-meter-long dragon through the orderly streets of the quaint Tai Hang area.

An extended viewing area to accommodate more spectators will be set up along Wun Sha Street and Tung Lo Wan Road, as well as a special performance by next-generation dragon performers. There will also be an LED giant flower plaque with a dragon head near the entrance for photos. The recently opened Tai Hang Fire Dragon Heritage Centre, which offers an intriguing look into the 143-year-old custom, is another place where the history and significance of the occasion may be learned during the day.

A group of knowledgeable and trained crafters work tirelessly for over a month to hand-craft the dragon using materials including pearl straw, rattan, and hemp rope. The dragon’s body is made up of 32 segments and is covered in 12,000 lit incense sticks; the head weighs 50 kilos. This blazing, smokey extravaganza can only be seen in Hong Kong, giving it a singular exhibition.

Guardian of the Ancient Flame

The Fire Dragon Dance first appeared more than 140 years ago when Tai Hang struggled to deal with the plague’s effects on its farming and fishing communities. A village elder was given instructions to build a dragon decorated with burning incense sticks and parade it around the streets to save the hamlet in a stirring dream.

Since then, the ritual has been carried out annually with its unique style and has become one of the most significant cultural events in Hong Kong, with the dance being listed on the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

We are overjoyed that the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance will be back this season after a four-year absence and are looking forward to inviting locals and others from around the world to join the festivities. We are proud that traditions like ours will always exist as we pass the legacy on to the next generation as the dance is more than just a performance to us, says Cheung Kwok Ho, Almon, the acting commander in chief of the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance and a native of Tai Hang.

A Center for Commemoration and Preserving

The recently inaugurated Tai Hang Fire Dragon Heritage Centre, located at 12 School Street in a Grade 3 Historic Building, enhances the celebrations. The museum hosts exhibitions and has a café serving meals influenced by the mouthwatering cuisine of the Hakka people, who were Tai Hang’s original settlers.

Vice Chairman Anthea Lo explains that the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Heritage Centre is a celebration of the excitement of the Fire Dragon dance and offers intriguing insight into the dance’s history, traditions, and intangible cultural heritage as well as Hakka culture. “The Center is housed in a historic building that dates back to the late 1940s and is a great example of urban revitalization that serves as a living link between the local community of today and the historical traditions of the fire dragon dance.”

The City’s Spectacular Nighttime Show

The Mid-Autumn Festival in Hong Kong offers a variety of joyful nocturnal festivities that are not to be missed, in addition to the Fire Dragon Dance. Families will congregate along the sparkling harbourfront and in parks decorated with spectacular decorations and lighting displays to enjoy the glow of the moon and indulge in celebratory mooncakes. The city will be illuminated by hundreds of lanterns that will be placed across the city. Everyone is invited to Hong Kong to experience the Mid-Autumn Festival’s magical atmosphere.

Source- Travel daily

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