Styling Librarian Hong Kong Update Y2 Wk8 Fire Dragon Special Edition
Since we’re off for the weekend for a special family time, shared soon enough, I’m going to share about the Chinese Moon Festival and the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Parade. We had the amazing, fortunate opportunity to meet up with one of my teacher librarian friends, Megan, at her apartment to see the Fire Dragon Parade this year. Last year, we were overwhelmed, went on a day where it was P-A-C-K-E-D and didn’t time things right at all. This year, very different and wonderful experience, well that is except for lovely Megan hurting her ankle terribly a little earlier in the day… Hope by the time this posts she feels MUCH better…
So, first off, on the way back from work, I ran through Victoria Park, long way home, just to have a little time to myself and also to check out the park festivities during daylight hours since last year, it was in the dark. I know it is quite beautiful in the evening but I did appreciate how the park was set up, especially seeing large blue water containers being reused as a light exhibit. I catch a bus past this park once a week or so, it was quite cool to see it get put together.
So here are a few pictures of that little visit:
After I rested for a tiny bit, we headed out for some dinner at a local Thai restaurant, nothing new, no pictures… then we headed to Megan’s apartment. We met the fire dragon before all of the incense was put into it, never lit on fire (silly assumption on my part) but instead incense sticks are stuck into it!
At the apartment, we climbed up to see out her bedroom window. I regret not having the camera handy, she has a fantastic view, right over to Kowloon, the bay, and we just loved seeing how even at her height she can absorb the culture of the area she lives in.
We quickly headed down to meet up with Megan’s lovely, generous security friend who helped Megan navigate the carpark and set us up at a viewing area for the parade. So last year, we were in a crazy crowd. At the back. We were… overwhelmed, less than two months settled, trying to be patient but gave up before the dragon came out…
This time, our kiddo was a little tired but overall, well worth every minute, especially the amazing location.
We were advised about two things before we headed into the carpark:
1. DO NOT TALK WITH THE MEDIA. Um, ok, no problem.
2. If police come, just say we are “queuing” for dinner. Guess that is code for, “please don’t arrest us for avoiding the crowds and watching the amazing parade from a prime location…”
Once we settled in, Doug headed off for a volleyball game and Megan and I entertained the kiddo for around an hour while we people watched and waited patiently for the fire dragon to be ready.
We noticed a group of men with pomelos stuck on the end of long sticks. We were curious about this… Megan explained that the incense gets pushed into the pomelo all over and then the pomelo incense ball taunts the dragon as it winds its way around the streets. Way cool. Pomelo fruits are huge. I really like eating them in salads!
So then we noticed a load of people in white uniforms finally moving around this really LONG dragon that was sitting/waiting for almost 45 minutes. They began the process of lighting incense sticks and putting them all over the dragon so that it was on fire as it travelled through the street. I really liked the smell of the incense.
Did you know this parade has happened for 134 years? Talk about tradition.
We loved watching the drummers roll around and entertain the crowds for a while…
Then the dragon wove its way through the village, came up the street to say hello to the dignitaries that were right below us (talk about a good view!). The girls with their lanterns were beautiful by the way.
So thoroughly appreciative of this experience!
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