TAI HANG FIRE DRAGON DANCE & LANTERN CARNIVAL
2 events that are staple events in Hong Kong during Mid Autumn Festival: Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance & Lantern Carnival at Victoria Park in Causeway Bay.
TAI HANG FIRE DRAGON DANCE
Directly from the Tai Hang Fire dragon site: “The Tai Hang Fire Dragon has its origins dating back to the 1880’s. It all started in Tai Hang, where it was a small Hakka village and the villagers, mostly farmers and fishermen, one day killed a serpent. The next morning; however, the dead body was nowhere to be found and a few days later, a plague had spread through out the Tai Hang village and many died of infection. Meanwhile, a village elder saw the Buddha one night in his dreams and was told to perform a Fire Dragon Dance and to burn fire crackers at the Mid Autumn Festival. The sulphur in the fire crackers drove away the disease and the villagers were saved!
Curious? We went, and have pictures to show for it!
TAI HANG FIRE DRAGON DANCE
Since then, every year the Tai Hang residents will perform the Fire Dragon Dance for three nights in the Mid-Autumn Festival in memory of the incident. The Fire Dragon is altogether 220 feet long with its body divided into 32 segments, all of which are stuffed with straw and stuck full of incense sticks, and is known as the “Fire Dragon”. In 2016, it is the 137th year.
I’ve been told that the incense really stings the eyes so make sure to bring glasses or something to shield the eyes. It occurs for 3 days (For 2016, it will be from Sept 14-16) from around 8-10pm. For exact location, exact time, and further info, visit their site HERE.
BEST PLACE TO STAND?
On Wun Sha road; however, where on Wun Sha road makes a difference. We arrived at 730pm and stood across from 5 Wun Sha road, which is not the best vantage point. This is because the front and head of the dragon never danced in front of us; instead they danced in front of 5 Wun Sha road. Also, the biggest thing was we stood behind the stage; therefore, we missed out on the entire first part where the dragon posed for pictures on the stage; therefore, I would recommend others to stand near the stage and in front of the stage on Wun Sha road. Please do note that they take a different route each day so it is difficult for me to say exactly which route they did. On a certain day, the dragon travels all the way to the Lantern Carnival at Victoria Park in Causeway Bay.
Two events that you should definitely check out! One is the Lantern Carnival at Victoria Park in Causeway Bay. Victoria Park will have the biggest display of lanterns lit up in Hong Kong and this usually starts only a few days before Mid-Autumn Festival. For the 2016 dates, you can visit the Tourism HK site for exact hours and info HERE. The link is a pdf and it also states all the other different Lantern Carnivals that are available around the city.
Enjoy! Check out all our other posts for the Mid Autumn Festival. Start with the Legend of Chang’E (Goddess of the Moon) here.