Looking for an activity during the Autumn Moon festival in Hong Kong?
One of the biggest and coolest celebrations it the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance. It’s pretty much what it sounds like, literally dragons dancing around which are set on fire including on that’s 67 ft long. Since firecrackers aren’t allowed this is probably the closest you’ll get to something similar. I haven’t gone but seems like a lot of fun from the pictures. They wander all around the Tai Hang area behind Victoria Park in Causeway Bay. It’s the hip and trendy area these days with all of the little restaurants, bars, and shops.
Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance
Dates: 29-30 September to 1 October 2012
Time: 7:30 PM
Venue: Tai Hang, Causeway Bay(Along Lily Street, Ormsby Street to Tung Lo Wan Road)
Directions: Tin Hau MTR Exit A1
Here’s the historical backdrop from DiscoverHongKong
In the 19th century, the people of Tai Hang began performing a dragon dance to stop a run of bad luck afflicting their village. More than a century later, their village has been all but swallowed up by Hong Kong’s fast-growing city. But the dragon keeps on dancing. It has even danced its way onto China’s third national list of intangible cultural heritage.
All this started a few days before the Mid-Autumn Festival, sometime around 100 years ago. First a typhoon slammed into the fishing and farming community of Tai Hang, this was followed by a plague, and then when a python ate the villagers’ livestock, they said enough was enough. A soothsayer decreed the only way to stop the chaos was to stage a fire dance for three days and nights during the upcoming festival. The villagers made a huge dragon from straw and covered it with incense sticks, which they then lit. Accompanied by drummers and erupting firecrackers, they did what they were told and danced for three days and three nights – and the plague disappeared.
The people of Tai Hang no longer fish or farm for a living, but they still perform the fire dragon dance on the three days that straddle the Mid-Autumn Festival. The event involves 300 performers, 72,000 incense sticks and a 67-metre-long dragon producing a spectacle of fire, smoke and dynamic fury as it dances and winds its way through the narrow backstreets of Tai Hang. Traditional, timeless and vibrant: this is Hong Kong as you dreamed it would be.
If one Fire Dragon Dance isn’t enough, there is also a smaller one near Aberdeen in Pok Fu Lam on September 30, 2012.
Pok Fu Lam Fire Dragon Dance
Date: 30 September 2012
Venue: Pok Fu Lam Village
Admission: Free Admission