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Grab your camera, wear something flame-retardant, and witness one of China’s most spectacular shows: the Fire Dragon Dance.
A sacred mythical creature in Chinese culture, the dragon is often the centerpiece of festivals and ceremonies.
Dragon dances have been recorded in ritual events since the Han Dynasty (202 BC to 220 AD), while the Fire Dragon Dance dates back to the Qing Dynasty (1644 to 1911) and the Republic of China (1912 AD). It began to appear in records from 1949 to 1949). Some historians claim that the origins of the fire dragon dance go back even further, to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
“These dances served purposes such as celebrating festivals and warding off disease,” said Kwok Kam Chau, a professor at Hong Kong Baptist University whose research focuses on festivals and religion in Chinese society. says.
Kwok and his colleague Professor Trong Poh Ying have been conducting research for the past few years. fire dragon dance.
“Throughout Chinese history, there are records of dragon-worshiping rituals, but they were associated with water rather than fire. In ancient times, people worshiped dragons to pray for rain. This belief derives from folk religions such as Buddhism and Taoism, where dragons are worshiped as river gods and rain gods. ”
From an anthropological perspective, the fire dragon procession route is “of great significance because it exemplifies local villagers’ awareness of their community and its geopolitical connections,” Kwok said.
Currently, the Fire Dragon Dance is performed all over the country as part of Spring Festival and Lunar New Year festivals, but the shape and form of the dance differs from one dance to another.
We’ve hand-picked the best options for travelers who want to experience this fierce Chinese tradition first-hand.
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Celebrities perform a fire dragon dance to celebrate the Lantern Festival in Puzhai, Guangdong Province, China.
The Fire Dragon Dance show has been held every year since the Qing Dynasty in Puzhai Village, Fengshun County, Guangdong Province, on the occasion of the Chinese Lantern Festival, which falls on the 15th day of the Lunar New Year (February 24th this year).
The centuries-old tradition was registered as China’s national intangible cultural heritage in 2008.
When the firecrackers go off, shirtless men rush into the village square and work together to hoist a dancing dragon over 30 meters long, its body covered in bright, glowing fireworks.
The event usually begins with various fireworks displays and performances, after which the festivities culminate with village elders lighting fireworks set up in a pattern of colorful dragons.
The Steel Fire Dragon Dance has been performed for centuries in various towns in the Xiangxi Tujia Miao Autonomous Prefecture of Hunan Province, China.
This dance, held every year during the Lantern Festival, is believed to bring good weather and a bumper harvest for the coming year.
It often begins with a cacophony of drums and gongs, firecrackers and the cheers of onlookers. Fireworks are then launched from the many bamboo tubes on either side of his dancing route, and dozens of dragon dancers brave the falling sparks.
Some dances end with the dragon being washed away into the river, while others do not end until the dragon is completely burnt out and only the metal structure remains.
Once feared as a dying tradition, the dance has been revived thanks to enthusiastic locals who vigorously promoted it online by sharing dramatic images and clips of the event online.
Steel Fire Dragon Dance was added to China’s list of intangible cultural heritage in 2018.
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A dragon dance is performed under flying molten iron in the ancient city of Huanglongxi in Chengdu, southwest China’s Sichuan province.
For a spectacular fire dragon dance with a historical backdrop, head to Huanglongxi in Sichuan province.
Chengdu’s historic old town is home to many ancient buildings from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912) and is known for its many temples, making it a popular Lunar New Year destination.
Every year, the town holds a multi-day Lunar New Year fair on the pier, with a fire dragon dance on the first five days (February 10-14, 2024) and the 15th day (February 24, 2024). It is included. month of the lunar calendar.
No firecrackers here. Instead, molten iron lava is thrown into the air. As the lava cools and shines into the air, the dragon “chases” the lantern, creating a spectacular show.
00:56 – Source: CNN
Watch a dragon dance with molten iron fireworks
Chongqing’s Tongliang Fire Dragon Dance is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular fire dragon dances. Splashes of molten iron were released into the sky, illuminating the darkness, and the shadow of the fire dragon swirled majestically.
Tongliang District, which is called the hometown of the fire dragon, now holds dances in other areas of Chongqing and shows in various places. However, one of his most popular places is Qaimeng Park.
Every night from February 10th to 17th, 2024, the park will host a 50-minute show including the Tongliang Fire Dragon. In addition, illuminations and fairs are held within the park.
The annual Dragon Lantern Festival begins on the 9th day of the lunar calendar (February 18, 2024) in the ancient capital of Liulong, Dafang County, Guizhou Province.
Dafang’s version features elaborate, colorful lanterns that are lit from within, rather than lighting the dragon on fire.
As dancers move around the town square with dragons, dozens of firecrackers are placed on the ground and glittery decorations are placed around the parade route.