What to Expect at the Mid-Autumn Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance 2023
September 25, 2023
The vibrant streets of Hong Kong come alive every Mid-Autumn Festival, but this year promises something extra special. After a three-year hiatus, the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance 2023 marks a grand return, lighting up the city's nights from Sept. 28 to 30.
What is the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance?
Originating from the tales of Tai Hang villagers who crafted this dragon to repel misfortunes and invite prosperity, today's dance has evolved to become a globally recognized Intangible Cultural Heritage of Hong Kong. Visitors from around the world gather in anticipation, their cameras ready to capture the glorious parade of the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance as it weaves through the neighbourhood’s narrow streets.
The 67-metre fire dragon, a masterpiece crafted anew every year by the Tai Hang Residents' Welfare Association, is an intricate construction of rattan, rope, grass, and iron wires. Thousands of incense sticks, held in place by layers of grass, burn to give the dragon its fiery presence, casting a mesmerizing glow and filling the air with a fragrant aroma.
What to See at the Mid-Autumn Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance 2023
The Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance’s 2023 edition is teeming with vibrant additions and enhanced features. A giant LED flower plaque, complete with a magnificent dragon head, serves as the perfect backdrop for those Instagram-worthy shots. The newly expanded viewing zone, stretching along Wun Sha Street and Tung Lo Wan Road, promises an unobstructed view of the dragon's majestic journey.
This year's schedule boasts two nightly performances, each an hour long, from 8:15 PM to 10:30 PM. In between the fiery dragon's appearances, traditional-costumed children and marching bands elevate the festive atmosphere with intermittent performances.
But the main highlight remains the 67-metre fire dragon. With over 300 performers bringing it to life, the dragon weaves its way through Tai Hang's distinctive streets in a clockwise parade, a symbol of prosperity and good fortune.
How to See the Mid-Autumn Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance 2023
To experience the unique Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance festival, head to the Tai Hang neighbourhood on Hong Kong Island. The procession will commence on Wun Sha Street, proceed to King Street, then Sun Chun Street, move on to Tung Lo Wan Road, and finally circle back to Wun Sha Street.
The location is approximately a 15-minute walk from the Causeway Bay MTR station and about a 10-minute walk from the Tin Hau MTR station. If you're travelling by tram, alight at the Hing Fat Street stop, from which it's an 8 to 10-minute walk.
Other Cultural Activities to Check Out During the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance 2023
Officially opened Oct. 2022 and housed in a Grade 3 historic building, formerly a Confucian school from the Qing Dynasty, the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Heritage Centre is a trove of cultural wonders.
The ground floor is an intimate look into the 140-year journey of the fire dragon culture. From its inception as a symbol to ward off evil spirits to its status as a world-famous cultural event, the displays offer a comprehensive understanding of this tradition's evolution.
For a hands-on experience, the centre also offers workshops on creating local snacks like Hakka dumplings and Cha Guo. Visitors can also learn to make fragrant sachets, giving visitors the full sensory experience of authentic Hakka culture. Feeling peckish after your cultural immersion? The first floor hosts a Hakka-themed restaurant, perfect for satiating both curiosity and hunger.
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