Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  China News  




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



SINO DAILY
The making of Hong Kong's famous 'fire dragon'
by Staff Writers
Hong Kong (AFP) Oct 4, 2017


Thousands of festival-goers packed a historic neighbourhood of Hong Kong to watch a "fire dragon" lit with incense sticks dance through the streets in a century-old ritual.

The 67-metre (220-foot) long dragon snakes around the network of narrow paths in the village of Tai Hang each year to the sound of roaring drums, and is one of the highlights of the celebrations for Wednesday's mid-autumn festival.

Around 300 performers carry the dragon through the neighbourhood for three consecutive evenings as it billows smoke, shaking and dipping its head and tail to the beat of the drums.

Only men -- former and current Tai Hang residents of all ages -- can be part of the dragon's body, but in recent years women have cracked through the all-male spectacle to become lead drummers.

The tradition is said to have started around 1880, after the once sleepy coastal village was hit by a typhoon, followed by a plague.

Desperate to change its fortunes, villagers created a "fire dragon" and paraded it for three days and three nights, chasing away the plague, according to local lore.

After years of land reclamation and gentrification, Tai Hang now lies inland from Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour and is home to upmarket restaurants and luxury condominiums, though a flavour of the old days remains.

"The community now is very different. Many old residents have left the neighbourhood. The mid-autumn festival every year is a good opportunity for all of us old residents to have a gathering," said Cheung Kwok-ho.

A Tai Hang native, Cheung is a maker of the dragon, planted with tens of thousands of burning incense sticks during the festival -- now on China's list of intangible cultural heritage.

- Making the dragon -

Work to assemble the dragon starts weeks in advance, its body consisting of a hemp rope "spine" wrapped with heaps of straws which are then tightly secured by metal wires.

Its makers say the humble but resilient materials for the dragon can, with expertise, be sculpted into a mighty creature.

"It requires skills to bend the rattan and create its shape before you strap on the straws, which are very thin," Chan Tak-fai, the dance's chief commander, told AFP.

"It's important to show its vigour," Chan said as he pointed to the dragon head's skeletal features, which would be guided during the dance by two swivelling "pearls" -- Chinese grapefruits also studded with glowing incense sticks.

Chan, 71, inherited the trade from elders after he began observing the dragon's making in the streets of Tai Hang when he was five. He joined the team in the 1970s when he was in his twenties.

The materials for the dragon are increasingly hard to source, Chan said, with the bulk of it now imported from mainland China.

But the methods for creating it remains the same as the festival enters its 138th year.

The spectators cheering on the fire dragon Tuesday said they were electrified by the atmosphere, not to mention the fiery and smoky effects.

"You can see the veterans speeding about tirelessly and working very hard to preserve this tradition... It looks magnificent," said Ventus Siu, 27.

SINO DAILY
China's Communist Party expels top member ahead of congress
Beijing (AFP) Sept 29, 2017
China's Communist Party Friday expelled from its ranks a former contender for a top leadership post for "serious discipline violations" before a major congress due to consolidate President Xi Jinping's power. Politburo member Sun Zhengcai was also dismissed from public office after the Political Bureau of the party's central committee approved an investigative report, according to the offici ... read more

Related Links
China News from SinoDaily.com


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

SINO DAILY
China's cargo spacecraft separates from Tiangong-2 space lab

Work on China's mission to Mars 'well underway'

Chinese company eyes development of reusable launch vehicle

Spacecraft passes docking test

SINO DAILY
Chinese manufacturing accelerates for second straight month

$37.7 million bowl sets Chinese ceramic auction record

Macau casino scion rolls dice on Japan venture

US commerce secretary hopeful about Trump-Xi trade talks

SINO DAILY
SINO DAILY
Japan opposition unites in election bid to topple Abe

US defence chief in India to boost military ties

Thousands flee huge 'sabotage' explosion at Ukraine arms depot

Putin heads to Turkey for talks on weapons deal, Syria

SINO DAILY
Largest Nuclear Training Center In France Opens Its Doors

BWXT awarded contract extension for nuclear waste facility operations

UAE to open Arab Gulf's first nuclear reactor in 2018

Russia floats out powerful nuclear icebreaker

SINO DAILY
Equifax CEO steps down in wake of massive hack

Ransomware attacks 'global epidemic', says Europol

Twitter reveals Russia-backed ads ahead of US election

China fines tech firms over online content

SINO DAILY
Largest Nuclear Training Center In France Opens Its Doors

BWXT awarded contract extension for nuclear waste facility operations

UAE to open Arab Gulf's first nuclear reactor in 2018

Russia floats out powerful nuclear icebreaker

SINO DAILY
Germany gets economic lift with wind energy

French energy company to build wind power sector in India

Finding better wind energy potential with the new European Wind Atlas

Last of the 67 turbines for a British wind farm installed




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement