Talk and Demonstration on the Craftsmanship of the Tai Hang Fire Dragon
|Date||:||18 & 19 September 2015 (Friday & Saturday)|
|Venue||:||Tai Hang Residents' Welfare Association (THRWA), 121 Tung Lo Wan Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong|
|Speaker||:||Mr. Chan Tak-fai (Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance Commander in Chief, THRWA)|
Tai Hang was originally a Hakka village. Legend has it that a plague broke out there in 1880. In the hope of stopping the plague, the villagers made a dragon with joss sticks inserted onto the frame, and paraded the dragon through the village on the evenings of the 14th, 15th and 16th of the eighth lunar month. The plague ended after the event. From then on, the villagers perform a three-day fire dragon dance every year for blessing.
Tai Hang fire dragon dance is coordinated by Tai Hang Residents' Welfare Association. A successor system has been established in order to pass on the craftsmanship and knowledge. Residents in Tai Hang have been practising fire dragon dance for more than 130 years. This tradition has become a collective activity which builds local identity and community solidarity.
Mr. Chan Tak-fai introduced the history of Tai Hang fire dragon dance and shared his experience in leading the event during the past decades. The well experienced instructors gave a demonstration of the dragon-making techniques using "pearl grass". Participants also had a chance to play the dragon head which weighs over 40 catties.