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Old Oct 2, 2009, 9:12 PM   #1
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Default Hong Kong: Tai Hang fire dragon dance

History of Fire Dragon Dance
The night before the mid-autumn festival in 1880, Tai Hang, a fishing village on Hong Kong Island, was struck by a typhoon and in one of the families, some of the livestock were swallowed by a big anaconda. Villagers immediately found the anaconda and beat it to death. The next day, the typhoon faded away but they could not find the dead anaconda anymore no matter how hard they tried ... and something mysterious happened then: villagers suffered from an unknown infectious disease, a serious death toll followed and there was no way to stop the plague.
An old man of the villagers had a dream one night. A fairy appeared to him and told him that the anaconda was actually the son of the marine dragon king. In revenge of his son's tragic death, the plague had been caused. The fairy said that the devils that the marine king had sent to bring about the plague was afraid of fire and smoke and one of the ways to drive them out was to stage a fire dragon dance in the village.
The plague died down very quickly after the fire dragon dance. To commemorate the event, the villagers performed a 3-day fire dragon dance in their village from the 14th to the 16th of the lunar August every year. The activity was stopped for 3 years during HK's occupation by the Japanese in the 2nd world war.

1 The body of the dragon is actually made of reed on which are inserted ignited incense sticks. It is very long, approximately 10 to 15 metres, with the heavy head and the heavy tail manned respectively by a master dancer and the body by assistant dancers. The dance is actually about chasing the two firy incense balls and swallowing them.



Last edited by wk7leung; Oct 2, 2009 at 9:36 PM.
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Old Nov 8, 2009, 12:40 AM   #2
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Do you know where one could sign up for Fire Dancing lessons?

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Fire Dancers
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Old Nov 24, 2009, 6:30 PM   #3
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Such dragon dance and lion dance are usually performed by the local Kung Fu schools in Hong Kong. If you want to learn, join the school! If you happen to be in the States, there are Martial Arts school in Chinatown of San Francisco and New York who can giving you the training.
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