Community & Education HKFP Lens

HKFP Lens: Cathay Camera Club captures Hong Kong’s Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance

Established in 1982, Cathay Camera Club is a Hong Kong based photography club that brings together photographers of all skill levels and nationalities.
tai hang fire dragon

Photo: Frank Zschieschang.

tai hang fire dragon

Photo: Frank Zschieschang.

One of the club’s recent outings was shooting the Fire Dragon Dance in Tai Hang, during this year’s Mid-Autumn festival.
tai hang fire dragon

Photo: Frank Zschieschang.

tai hang fire dragon

Photo: Frank Zschieschang.

The Fire Dragon Dance Festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the eight lunar month.
tai hang fire dragon

Photo: Gary Jones.

tai hang fire dragon

Photo: Gary Jones.

tai hang fire dragon

Photo: Gary Jones.

tai hang fire dragon

Photo: Gary Jones.

Amidst the roar of drums and gongs, 300 people carry a 67-metre blazing dragon.
tai hang fire dragon

Photo: Ivanna Vivcharyk.

tai hang fire dragon

Photo: Ivanna Vivcharyk.

The ritual began in the 19th century, when Tai Hang was hit by a plague. It was “dispelled” with a three-day long fire dragon dance.
tai hang fire dragon

Photo: Ivanna Vivcharyk.

tai hang fire dragon

Photo: Ivanna Vivcharyk.

Among the 300 participants, the youngest member is 16 while the eldest is 80 years old. The eldest serves as the consultant and inserts the incense stick into the heart of the dragon.
tai hang fire dragon

Photo: Mary Dimitropoulou.

tai hang fire dragon

Photo: Mary Dimitropoulou.

The 67-metre body consists of 31 sections.
tai hang fire dragon

Photo: Mary Dimitropoulou.

tai hang fire dragon

Photo: Mary Dimitropoulou.

The head of the dragon weights 48kg and is formed by wrapping pearl straw around a rattan frame.
tai hang fire dragon

Photo: Rudmer Hoekstra.

tai hang fire dragon

Photo: Rudmer Hoekstra.

The dragon is prompted forward by two “pearls,” formed by pomelo fruits in which numerous sticks are inserted.
tai hang fire dragon

Photo: Rudmer Hoekstra.

tai hang fire dragon

Photo: Rudmer Hoekstra.

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HKFP Lens: Cathay Camera Club captures Hong Kong's Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance