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Hong Kong Celebrates the Mid-Autumn Festival with the Dazzling Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance

The Mid-Autumn Festival, one of Hong Kong’s most celebrated festivals, is fast approaching on 24 September (the 15th day of the 8th month on the Chinese Lunar Calendar).

Said to have evolved from a moon-worshipping ceremony ahead of the autumn harvest, the festival provides a peek inside Hong Kong’s long-held traditions.

During this annual festival, visitors will witness the city coming alive, as the century-old Fire Dragon Dance swirls through Tai Hang and lanterns illuminate the sky.

Paying tribute to the Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations of old, Tai Hang residents has gathered to take part in the three-day Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance during 23 to 25 September 2018. People from across the city head to the dance to enjoy the roaring festivities, which were inscribed on China’s National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2011.

The tradition is thought to have emerged in the 19th century, following a typhoon and a plague that devastated Tai Hang. By parading a fierce dragon through the streets, the villagers believed they could ward off evil spirits and bad luck.

Today, the experience promises an explosion of drums, gongs and incense, as nearly 300 trained participants carry a 67-metre dragon covered in glowing joss sticks through the streets. The first thing you’ll notice as the dragon flies by is its 70-kilogramme head, made of sheet metal, straw and rattan, with two electric torches for eyes – that’s a face you’ll never forget!

Images of the Fire Dragon Dance in Hong Kong

Last Updated on 2020/10/30

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