A fiery festival of national importance
A fiery festival
Every year, the streets of Tai Hang area in Causeway Bay light up in a spectacular, three-day-long display of sparkle and light to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival. This is no ordinary firework show, this a moving dragon dance performed by a three hundred-strong male troupe made up of past and present residents. This many dedicated and strong men are needed because the fire dragon is about 67-metres-long and divided into 31 sections, carried by each performer. The dragon's entire body is made of no less than two hundred bales of dried reed. Just its head alone weighs more than 48 kilograms! Dancers are divided into sections and work in a team; there’s always one person on standby to take over the load if a dancer tires out.
Smoke, sparkles & fire
You may wonder why this creature called a 'fire dragon'. Well, its rattan frame is ablaze from the amber of more than 70,000 incense sticks inserted into it! The tradition began around 1880 when many residents in a Hakka village in Tai Hang fell ill during a plague. The village elders believed that the plague was caused by a vengeful water dragon, and came up with the idea of having a fire dragon dance to ward off the water dragon's ill intents. The village did not suffer from plagues since then and even developed into a prosperous neighbourhood right in the heart of Causeway Bay! The Tai Hang Fire Dragon Parade is still held annually. It is not just a unique Hong Kong tradition; the parade is even recognised nationally as one of China’s Representative Intangible Cultural Heritage!
Find a good viewing spot
Where are the best vantage points to view the Fire Dragon Parade? Before the start of the performance at 6 pm, head over to Lin Fa Temple to see the dragon’s consecration ceremony, which is held to give it “life”. Then join the crowds at Wun Sha and Sun Chun Streets as the glowing dragon majestically “glides” through the neighbourhood.