Exhibition: Intangible Cultural Heritage of Hong Kong–Pokfulam’s Fire Dragon

2016·09·24~11·04
Venue: Piazza (Outside S H Ho Sports Hall)
Organizer: South China Research Center, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Fire Dragon Dance

Pokfulam Village, located in the Southern District of Hong Kong Island, organizes Fire Dragon Dance during Mid-Autumn Festival every year. Carried by dozens of villagers and led by a Dragon Pearl, in the rhythm of drumbeats, the Fire Dragon parades along the lanes and alleys within the village to ward off bad fortune and pray for peace for the villagers. At the end of the parade, the villagers carry the Dragon to Waterfall Bay, which is two kilometers away. After an hour's walk, the Dragon is released into the sea slowly. This signifies the Dragon's return to the sea. Nowadays, in order not to pollute the seawater, the Fire Dragon is moved back on land upon completion of the whole ritual. This traditional custom has a history of over a hundred years and is an item in Hong Kong’s Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Fire Dragon

The skeleton of the Fire Dragon is made of bamboo sticks and straw, with a length over 10 meters. The Dragon is supported by bamboo poles which become the handles. The crafting of the Fire Dragon begins a month before the Mid-Autumn Festival. Prior to the parade, villagers stick burning incense sticks in the skeleton of the Dragon. The burning incense sticks thus constitute the body of the Fire Dragon.

Craftsmanship of the Fire Dragon

This is one of the Dragon Statues used at Mid-Autumn Festival in Pokfulam Village in 2016. Villagers worship the dragon by putting their burning incense sticks onto this dragon statue. This Dragon Statue was prepared by Master Ng Kong-kin, who grew up in Pokfulam Village and has a 40-year experience in crafting Fire Dragon. Master Ng has kindly agreed to lend out the Dragon for this exhibition showcasing Hong Kong's Intangible Cultural Heritage and the tradition of Fire Dragon Dance in Pokfulam Village.

Pokfulam Village

Pokfulam Village situates in the Southern District of Hong Kong Island. It began as a Hakka village about two hundred years ago. There are now about 3,000 people living in the village.

Acknowledgement

Master Ng Kong-kin
Master Ng Kong-nan
Pokfulam Village Fire Dragon Association

References