The Fire Dragon and Me: A love story

Well, maybe not a love story. More of just me having no idea what to call my third post written in one day on Hong Kong.

We were lucky enough to be in Hong Kong during the Mid Autumn festival, also known as the lantern festival. It is a big holiday, as the belief is that the moon is it brightest at this time of the year. So you are suppose to reunite with your family. Or if you can not, you are suppose to stare at the moon knowing that your family is staring at the moon too. One of the neighborhoods in Hong Kong had a fire dragon. The story goes that a long time ago the neighborhood was hit with disaster after disaster, including a typhoon. They had a fire dragon dance to try and please the gods and it worked. So every year at the Mid Autumn festival they do the dance for three days to keep themselves safe. We got there at around 5:30pm, and had a quick bite to eat lining up to watch the Fire Dragon. Well, at about 6pm every spot immediately along the barricade was taken. Lucky for us most people in Hong Kong are kind of short. So we found a few very short ladies and lined up behind them. For two hours. Our feet were kind of sore by the end of the night, but it was worth it.

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They rotated drummers in and out without missing a beat. This girl kicked ass
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A store is born!
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A star is bored!
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This feels like a very typical Asian scene

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The Fire Dragon!
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Not seen: Two “pearls” that the dragon was chasing.
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It took about 300 people to carry this thing. They kept subbing people in and out as they got tired.

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After a few laps around the neighborhood, these two fish came out to chase the dragon away.
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They put out all the incense from the dragon. They passed it out to everyone in the crowd. Then, they lit more incense and made the dragon again.
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After the dragon we walked to the park to see the laterns.

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It was a truly amazing experience. I could not stop smiling the whole time. To see a fire dragon dance, in China! (Yes I know it is not Hong Kong in a way. But it really is China in a lot of ways) This is one of the amazing experiences we have had that would not be available to us if we were still living in The States. Perhaps there were only two down sides: One, not enough time! We will be back to Hong Kong for sure! Two, no passport stamp. Hong Kong issues these little cards you have to carry with you instead. I mention that just because I was looking at my passport and all it’s little stamps. We have truly had so many amazing experiences so far and there are so many more to come. Next up on our travel agenda is Vietnam, then maybe Taipei. Next year we are heading to Australia at least, and probably a few other places as well. If we hit up Cambodia and Laos, we will have visited every country in Southeast Asia. I am being wistful because Hong Kong, along with Borneo, are two places I looked at on the globe as a kid and thought about how far way they were. They always represented for me being as far away form home as I could be. Borneo especially was the representation of all that was exotic and distant. I dreamed of visiting these far way places when growing up in rural New York and now I am seeing them all. Living the dream!

 

Jumpa Lagi

 

Kevin


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