MID AUTUMN FESTIVAL
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In Tai Hang area, in CauseWay Bay district, fire dragon dances (龍火坑大) are performed over three nights.
A few days before Mid-Autumn festival in year 1880, a powerful typhoon struck Hong Kong.
A huge python entered Tai Hang village and was killed by villagers. A few days later cholera broke out in the village. The python was the son of Dragon King.
As the Dragon was scared of fire, the villagers danced with a fire dragon for three nights continously to threaten him and stop the Cholera.
Villagers are making a big fire dragon made of straw and put burning incense all over the dragon's body.
Villagers dance with the fire dragon, roam through all the lanes of Tai Hang village.
Since year 1880, until today, villagers have maintained the custom every Mid-Autumn festival.
The Dragon is 220 feet long and has a team of 120 dancers. It consists of the head, a body made of 32 segments and a tail.
It is preceded by two dancing Dragon Pearls or "Lung Chu" whose purpose is to attract the Dragon forward.
The Dragon is accompanied by a noisy drum and clashing cymbals that are running behing him.
The Dragon is accompanied as well as by banners and costumed children carrying lanterns.
This custom has been followed every year since 1880, with the exception of the Japanese Occupation and during the 1967 disturbances.
Until recent years female participation was limited to the cutting of grass. Ladies were not allowed to touch the Dragon and they were not admitted during the Dragon's visit to the Lin Fa Kung Temple. Nowadays young ladies can be seen holding the Dragon.
Each evening during three nights, the Tai Hang fire dragon dance last around three hours.
Each evening, the burning incense sticks are changed once.
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