February is a month of festivities. As the city celebrates Lunar New Year, Valentine’s Day and Spring Lantern Festival (the Chinese Valentine’s Day), we take you on a journey to Tai Hang, a community whose earliest settlers built their homes behind Causeway Bay around the time Hong Kong became a British colony. We chart the development of Tai Hang through the personal experiences of three individuals: Fai Gor, Natural and Tammy.
Fai Gor is a retiree and a community leader. Natural works in the film industry. Tammy is a marketing executive. Although only one of them is still living in Tai Hang today, these three seemingly unrelated individuals are united by the same passion and commitment to Tai Hang’s 133-year-old tradition: the annual Fire Dragon Dance. Each of them serves this intangible cultural heritage in their own way: Fai Gor is the commander-in-chief of the spectacle, Natural is a drummer while Tammy teaches Tai Hang children how to be lantern-bearers for the fire dragon.
Their personal encounters with the fire dragon, year after year, tell a vivid story on how the lucrative business of urban redevelopment impacts every individual, changes the landscape and demography of a community, and even threatens the inheritance of our intangible cultural heritage.
Although the Fire Dragon Dance takes place in Mid-Autumn Festival, the year-round blessings that it brings are most appropriate for this celebratory month of reunions and new beginnings. Long may the Fire Dragon roar.