Have you seen the fire dragon dance? This year’s mid-autumn festival, commonly known as the Mooncake Festival, starts on September 27 and — on the eve of this day — the celebration starts with a fire dragon dance.
The legend of this dance is to ward off evil spirits and bring hope for a bumper harvest, according to The Epoch Times. This year for three nights, from September 26 to 28, more than 300 people celebrate this fire dragon dance from Tai Hang Road all the way to Victoria Park.
Many tourists and locals enjoy joining in the celebrations.
What is the dragon dance?
The Tai Hang Fire Dragon tradition originated in Tai Hang, Hong Kong Island, more than 100 years ago.
During the 19th century, the village was overwhelmed by extreme winds and a plague just before the mid-autumn festival.
In order to restore balance in the environment, fortune tellers suggested that a fire dance be held for three days and three nights during the full moon.
A fire dragon was built from straw and burning incense. As the fire dragon traversed through Tai Hang for three days and three nights, the plague was nowhere to be found. This mid-autumn tradition has since been observed in every festival.
The fire dragon is 220 feet (67 meters) tall and about 300 performers, 70,000 incense sticks, and an abundance of fire crackers can be seen and heard throughout the streets of Tai Hang, just like a century ago.
One of the traditional performances during the Mid-Autumn festival in Hong Kong is the fire dragon dance.
The legend also goes for harvesting time as a plea for a more bountiful harvest and no more plagues.
Translated research by Monica
Copyedited by Alan Cheung