In celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival, carnivals and booth were set up at designated location around Hong Kong. The urban mid-autumn lantern festival for instance was held in Victoria Park. Traditional activities were displayed at the booth that includes Plastic molding, Guangdong Paper-Cutting and Unicorn Paper crafting. The lantern festival reminded me of the lantern display at Singapore Chinese Garden which I had visited when I was a child.
Museums also set up special exhibitions to educate the public on the origin of the fire dragon and the significance of Mid-Autumn festival. One week prior to the Mid-Autumn festival, I visited the Sam Tung Uk museum which I happened to chance upon while exploring the neighborhood. The museum was actually a restored hakka village and upon stepping into the place, it gave me a glimpse of the villager’s life back then. In one of the section, there was a large display of the straw Dragon as part of the mid-autumn exhibition.
The Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance is the major and most anticipated event of the evening. Once the dragon’s body is being lit up with incense sticks, it would be paraded along the streets. Prior to the event, several roads were blocked to direct the human traffic. Being exceptionally long at 67 meters, parading the dragon throughout the night is a very physically demanding task.
The crowd and the noise makes the event lively and bustling with excitement. The annual Tai Hang Fire Dragon is an essential part of their intangible heritage and I was glad to be able to experience this tradition.