A uniquely local Hong Kong festival, the Tai Hang Fire Dragon is an incredible spectacle that takes place during the Mid-Autumn Festival, in the village of Tai Hang, Causeway Bay.
The legend goes that around 1880, the Tai Hang villagers killed a python, but in the morning the body had disappeared. Right after this, a plague broke out, with many dying. A village elder had a dream, where Buddha told him to perform a fire dragon dance to purge bad luck and evil spirits. Constructing a dragon out of straw, they covered its body with sticks of burning incense, and for three days and three nights paraded it through the village. Lo and behold, the plague stopped, and it became an annual ritual, found nowhere else in Hong Kong.
Today the dragon is built out of rattan and is almost 67 metres long, with more than 20,000 sticks of incense burning on its body. It takes 300 adults to carry the massive dragon on a parade route through Tai Hang.
This year the event will be held from 20–22 September, and the best place to watch it is on Wun Sha Street. It starts at around 8 pm on all three nights, and the parade lasts for roughly two hours. Visitors are welcome to watch and follow the fire dragon through the streets, and the event is free.
On 21 September, after completing the parade route, the fire dragon will be taken to Victoria Park at around 11 pm, to be displayed as part of the Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations.
Getting to the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Festival
To get to the festival, take the MTR to Tin Hau Station, go out Exit B, turn right, cross the road at Hing Fat Street and then immediately cross again at the traffic lights. Turn right and up by the tennis courts you’ll see the Fire Dragon Path on your left. Walk down this path until you reach Wun Sha Street.
Alternatively, you can take the tram and get off at Hing Fat Street tram stop, immediately cross the street, turn right, and by the tennis courts on your left you’ll see the Fire Dragon Path.