The Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance started in the 19th century in a village called Tai Hang to stop bad luck (sounds typically Chinese 🙂 ).
This little village is no more and has left place to residential tower blocks, but every year the descendants of the Tai Hang village carry out the traditional dance.
The dragon is 67m long, is made of 72 000 encens sticks and is carried by 300 men from the Tai Hang village.
It reminds me of the Chinese New Year dragon dance, but apparently it’s different.
The street was absolutely crowded, it was a really hot evening – straight after work and it smelt really strong of encens.
I’m really not a fan of that smell, it gives me strong headaches and sticks to my hair so I smell like a giant encens stick.
We managed to squeeze at the front of the pavement and got a great view of the event.
Since my skin is so pale I must have stood out from the crowed because a local TV host pounced on me and tried to interview me. I was a little bit too surprised and didn’t have anything to say… to my relief my sweaty face did not appear on TV that night!
After that we went to Victoria Park (there must be hundreds of Vici Parks but it always reminds me of Leicester) and had a look at the Mid-Autumn festival lanterns.
For the wee bit of history, the ancient Chinese observed that the movement of the moon had a close relationship with changes of the seasons and agricultural production and therefore to express their thanks to the moon with this festival.
These days, it mainly involves:
- a bank holiday
- kids playing with lanterns
- family meals
- moon cakes
- a myth of a rabbit being sent to the moon
I didn’t take a photo of the moon cakes (obviously too busy eating them) but I’ve added one to the slideshow below for you to see.
They look really pretty but they are so heavy!! Eat 1/4 and you’re off for an afternoon nap.
You can click on the photos to enlarge them.