Golden Dragon of Ma Tin Tsuen, Yuen Long
Lobby, Ground Floor,
Hong Kong Heritage Museum
19 October 2009 - 19 April 2010
Every year, the villagers of Shap Pat Heung in Yuen Long celebrate Tin Hau's birthday on the twenty-third day of the third month in the Chinese calendar. On that day, they organize a big procession comprising a number of performances. Together with three towers of fa pao, the procession heads for the Tin Hau Temple, presenting offerings to the Heavenly Queen.
According to a custom of Ma Tin Tsuen, when its villagers receive the third fa pao which symbolizes wealth and offspring, they will perform the dragon dance at the Tin Hau Festival in the following year as thanksgiving. And if the dragon is to be replaced with a new one, the old dragon will be burnt so that "it" can fly back to the heaven court. According to the villagers, this custom of Ma Tin Tsuen has been observed for more than one hundred years.
The golden dragon was designed by the villagers of Ma Tin Tsuen and was made in 2002. Measuring about 70 metres in length, the dragon is assembled from 36 cylindrical sections. The body of the dragon is weaved with bamboo strips and dressed in silk with the head and the tail made of paper and silk. Accompanied by drums and gongs, the dance engages some two hundred villagers to wave the dragon which is led by dragon balls with the sun, the moon, the phoenix and the carp on both sides, referred to as "Golden Dragon Chasing After Five Treasures.
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