Intangible Cultural Heritage of Hong Kong

To promote Intangible Cultural Heritage of Hong Kong, many of our Intangible Cultural traditional items were presented in our past Territory-wide events and Carnivals.

Fire Dragon Dance at Tai Hang

The Tai Hang Residents’ Welfare Association organises the “Fire Dragon Dance” every year. Members of the Association make use of pearl grass to craft the fire dragon, which consists of a body, a head, a tail, eyes, a dragon ball, and a “bangle”, and set up a drum trolley before the Mid-Autumn Festival. The “fire dragon dance” is held from the 14th to the 16th day of the eighth lunar month. (The Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance was inscribed onto the third national list of intangible cultural heritage in 2011.)

Mid-Autumn Lantern Carnivals 2015

Fire Dragon Dance at Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance at Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance at Tai Hang

Mid-Autumn Lantern Carnivals 2016

Fire Dragon Dance at Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance at Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance at Tai Hang

Mid-Autumn Lantern Carnivals 2017

Fire Dragon Dance at Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance at Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance at Tai Hang

Mid-Autumn Lantern Carnivals 2018

Fire Dragon Dance at Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance at Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance at Tai Hang

Blown Sugar Technique

The person who makes blown sugar uses maltose (corn syrup) to make syrup paste, which can be shaped as figurines of humans and animals. A small balloon can also be made by pulling and blowing air into a small piece of syrup paste.

Wonderful Moments

Blown Sugar Technique Blown Sugar Technique

Rod Puppetry

A performer of rod puppet show manipulates the movement of the puppet’s head and body with its main shaft while using the hand shafts to move its hands. The rod puppet theatre is staged during the Jiao festival and deity’s birthdays.

Lunar New Year Lantern Carnivals 2015

Rod Puppetry Rod Puppetry

Tuen Mun Tin Hau Temple Fair

Rod Puppetry Rod Puppetry

Little Green in the West

Rod Puppetry

String Puppetry

A string puppet performer manipulates the “string strip” which connects different parts of the puppet body and his hands. The puppet moves through the manipulation of the “string strip”.

Tuen Mun Tin Hau Temple Fair

String Puppetry String Puppetry

Sewing Technique of Traditional Chinese Costumes in Hong Kong

Chinese costumes fall into two categories: menswear and womenswear. While the former consists of long gowns, mandarin jackets, tank tops and Tang suits, the latter consists of cheongsam, padded jackets, Tang suits and wedding costumes.

Urban Mid-Autumn Lantern Carnival 2016

Sewing Technique of Traditional Chinese Costumes in Hong Kong

Flower Button

Flower buttons refer to the toggle buttons, made from narrow strips of cloth, of cheongsam and traditional costumes. A pair of floral toggles is formed by a big embroidered toggle and a small embroidered toggle. The floral toggles are shaped into different patterns, such as butterflies, plum blossoms, birds and magpies.

Lunar New Year Lantern Carnivals 2015

Flower Button Flower Button

Hakka Dialect

Most of the Hakka communities in the New Territories migrated to Hong Kong after the abolition of the Evacuation Order promulgated in the early Qing Dynasty. Nowadays, some Hakka villagers still speak Hakka dialect, and some traditional rituals are conducted in the same dialect.

Hakka Folk Song

Hakka folk songs have been inherited among Hakka communities in the New Territories. In the past, people sang the songs during gatherings, festivals and courtships. Nowadays, they sing these songs in performances.

Asian Ethnic Cultural Performances 2015

Hakka Dialect Hakka Dialect

Community Thematic Carnival 2016

Hakka Dialect

Lunar New Year Lantern Carnival 2018

Hakka Dialect Hakka Dialect

Engor (Dance of Heroes)

Engor is a traditional parade performance of the Chiu Chow communities in Hong Kong for celebrating deities' birthdays or festivals. Performers wear traditional costumes and paint face patterns during the performance.

Asian Ethnic Cultural Performances 2017

Engor (Dance of Heroes) Engor (Dance of Heroes)

Fishermen's Ballads

Fishermen's ballads were popular among fishermen in the past. Young males and females sang songs on sampans to get to know each other.

Lunar New Year Lantern Carnival 2018

Engor (Dance of Heroes)

Birdcage Production Technique

Birdcages are used to raise pet birds. They are made of wood and bamboo. The making process involves making the components, carving and painting.

Mid-Autumn Lantern Carnival 2017

Birdcage Production Technique Birdcage Production Technique

Lantern Band Embroidery Technique

Hakka women, with threads of different colours, embroider colourful bands which are hung on the lanterns by the families with new-born sons during the lighting lantern ritual. In Hakka dialect, the lantern band implies the son will be brought up properly.

Mid-Autumn Lantern Carnival 2017

Birdcage Production Technique Birdcage Production Technique

Movable-type Printing Technique

This technique involves the arrangement of movable characters into the letterpress printing plate by the masters and the actual printing by the printing machine. The printed products include account books and name cards.

Cantopop Mania II

Movable-type Printing Technique Movable-type Printing Technique

Cha Kwo (Steamed Sticky Rice Dumpling) Making Technique

Cha Kwo is made from glutinous rice flour and fillings. It is served as a festive snack during the Lunar New year and a food offering in the villages in the New Territories.

Tuen Mun Tin Hau Temple Fair

Cha Kwo (Steamed Sticky Rice Dumpling) Making Technique Cha Kwo (Steamed Sticky Rice Dumpling) Making Technique

Community Thematic Carnival 2016

Cha Kwo (Steamed Sticky Rice Dumpling) Making Technique

Paper-cutting Technique

Paper-cutting, a traditional art from northern China, has become an art form in Hong Kong. Based on Ying Jian (negative cut) and Yang Jian (positive cut), various techniques like hollowing out, stacking papers, filling color and stippling are featured.

Mid-Autumn Lantern Carnivals 2015

Paper-cutting Technique

Tuen Mun Tin Hau Temple Fair

Paper-cutting Technique Paper-cutting Technique

Mid-Autumn Lantern Carnivals 2018

Paper-cutting Technique

Paper Crafting Technique

Paper craft products, as three-dimensional structures, are made from bamboo, bamboo strips, tissue paper and silk cloth through the colouring and assembling processes. Paper craft products include flower-canons, flower boards, lion heads, unicorns, dragons, ghost masters, lanterns, palace lanterns, Hung Ming Lanterns (sky lanterns) and paper offerings. Nowadays, paper craft products are mainly used for religious rituals. Some masters specialise in a particular type of products, while others may be skilful in crafting a variety of items.

Lunar New Year Lantern Carnivals 2015

Paper Crafting Technique

Mid-Autumn Lantern Carnivals 2015

Paper Crafting Technique

Lunar New Year Lantern Carnival 2018

Lunar New Year Lantern Carnival 2018

Urban Mid-Autumn Lantern Carnival 2016

Lunar New Year Lantern Carnival 2018 Lunar New Year Lantern Carnival 2018

Mid-Autumn Lantern Carnivals 2017

Lunar New Year Lantern Carnival 2018

Lunar New Year Lantern Carnival 2018

Paper Crafting Technique

Mid-Autumn Lantern Carnivals 2018

Mid-Autumn Lantern Carnivals 2018

Hong Kong Style Milk Tea Making Technique

Hong Kong style milk tea, also known as “silk stocking” milk tea, is a kind of hot drink. It is made by repeatedly pouring water into the cloth colander which contains tea leaves, and then pouring the hot tea into a cup of evaporated milk.

Wonderful Moments

Hong Kong Style Milk Tea Making Technique Hong Kong Style Milk Tea Making Technique

Tuen Mun Tin Hau Fair

Hong Kong Style Milk Tea Making Technique Hong Kong Style Milk Tea Making Technique

Cantonese Opera

Cantonese opera is the traditional operatic genre conducted in Cantonese in southern China. Its major components include vocals, episodic acts, operas for appeasing gods, singing of opera excerpts, and opera music. (Cantonese opera was inscribed onto UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2009 under the joint nomination by Guangdong Province, Hong Kong and Macau.)

Lunar New Year Lantern Carnivals 2015

Cantonese Opera Cantonese Opera

Tuen Mun Tin Hau Temple Fair

Cantonese Opera Cantonese Opera

Mid-Autumn Lantern Carnival 2016

Cantonese Opera

Nanyin (Southern Tunes)

Nanyin is a kind of traditional music popular in the Pearl River Delta region. It is performed in Cantonese operas, Guangdong "murmuring prayers", Taoist rituals, celebrations and funeral rites. Musicians usually sing while they play the instruments.

Community Thematic Carnival 2016

Taoist Ritual Music

Taoist Ritual Music

Taoist ritual music consists of “Zhengyi” (Orthodox Unity School) and “Quanzhen” (Complete Perfection School) traditions. During the ritual, musicians play instruments while ritual specialists are chanting ritual text. The ritual features the singing of ancient majors and minors and the recital and chanting of scriptures. The instruments include pipes, flutes, strings, chords, middle drums, big gongs, big drums, cymbals and so forth.

Lunar New Year Lantern Carnivals 2015

Taoist Ritual Music Taoist Ritual Music

Buddhist Ritual Music

Buddhist ritual music, known as "Sanskrit", is played on ritual occasions. During the ritual, musicians play instruments while ritual specialists are chanting ritual text. The instruments include pipes, big gongs, flutes and so forth.

Lunar New Year Lantern Carnival 2018

Buddhist Ritual Music Buddhist Ritual Music

Lion Dance

A lion is composed of a head and a body. Operated by two performers, it moves with the music rhythms. The lion dance is performed for celebrating festivals, birthdays of deities, ceremonies or wedding rituals in local communities. Different groups have developed different forms of lion dance and “picking-the-green” ritual.

Lunar New Year Lantern Carnivals 2015

Lion Dance Lion Dance

Mid-Autumn Lantern Carnivals 2015

Mid-Autumn Lantern Carnivals 2015 Mid-Autumn Lantern Carnivals 2015

Tuen Mun Tin Hau Temple Fair

Mid-Autumn Lantern Carnivals 2015 Mid-Autumn Lantern Carnivals 2015

Community Thematic Carnival 2016

Lion Dance

Mid-Autumn Lantern Carnival 2017

Lion Dance Lion Dance

Dragon Dance

A dragon is composed of a head, several body parts and a tail. Performers prop up each part of the dragon body by bamboo sticks and move them with the music rhythms. The golden dragon is about ten metres long and it takes hundreds of performers to operate the dance. The dragon dance is performed for celebrating festivals, ceremonies and birthdays of deities in some lineages, villages and communities.

Lunar New Year Lantern Carnivals 2015

Dragon Dance Dragon Dance

Unicorn Dance

A unicorn is composed of a head and a body. Operated by two performers, it moves with the music rhythms. The unicorn dance is performed for celebrating festivals, birthdays of deities, ceremonies or wedding rituals in local communities. Unicorn dance is categorised into three forms of tradition, namely Punti (Original Locality), Hakka and Hoi Luk Fung / Hoklo.

Mid-Autumn Lantern Carnivals 2015

Unicorn Dance Unicorn Dance

Asian Ethnic Cultural Performances 2015

Unicorn Dance Unicorn Dance

Community Thematic Carnival 2016

Unicorn Dance

Lunar New Year Lantern Carnival 2018

Unicorn Dance Unicorn Dance

Riddles

Riddle creators establish forums of riddles, and make use of geographical names, historical figures to produce riddles. Participants solve the riddles through deleting words, adding words and switching pronunciations.

Lunar New Year Lantern Carnivals 2015

Riddles Riddles

Tuen Mun Tin Hau Temple Fair

Riddles

Lunar New Year Lantern Carnival 2018

Riddles

Urban Mid-Autumn Lantern Carnival 2016

Riddles Riddles

Mid-Autumn Lantern Carnival 2017

Riddles

Dough Figurine Crafting Technique

The major ingredient of dough figurines is steamed flour. Different kinds of colour pigments are added into the dough, which is later crafted as human or animal figurines with different gestures.

Lunar New Year Lantern Carnivals 2015

Dough Figurine Crafting Technique Dough Figurine Crafting Technique

Tuen Mun Tin Hau Temple Fair

Dough Figurine Crafting Technique Dough Figurine Crafting Technique

Wonderful Moments

Dough Figurine Crafting Technique Dough Figurine Crafting Technique

Galvanised Iron Products Making Technique

Galvanised iron products are made from pieces of galvanised iron. The products consist of daily utensils such as letter boxes, basins and buckets

Lunar New Year Lantern Carnival 2018

Galvanised Iron Products Making Technique

Guangcai (The Canton Famille Rose Porcelain) Making Technique

The Canton Famille Rose Porcelain, also known as "Guangcai", refers to the art of painting patterns on white porcelain. The making process involves drawing lines, painting with colours and glost firing.

Mid-Autumn Lantern Carnivals 2018

Guangcai (The Canton Famille Rose Porcelain) Making Technique

Fishing Net Plaiting Technique

Plaiting (including left-right plait and figure-of-eight) is the main method of making fishing nets, with the use of various tools such as plastic fishing lines, wooden pads, wooden chess and a pocket knife. In the past, the fishermen plaited the fishing nets by themselves, and therefore nowadays the elderly still understand how to make different kinds of fishing nets.

Lunar New Year Lantern Carnival 2018

Fishing Net Plaiting Technique

Tai Chi Chuan

Several branches of Tai Chi Chuan have been developed in Hong Kong. Those identified to date include Wu's, Chen's, Fu's and Yang's

Community Thematic Carnival 2018

Tai Chi Chuan

*Extract from the First Intangible Cultural Heritage Inventory of Hong Kong, Intangible Cultural Heritage Office.