Stoking the flames of tradition with our youth

With the determination and resilience of the younger generation, the tradition of the Tai Hang Fire Dragon dance still stands strong through the test of time.

In the 19th century, villagers of a small Hakka village in Hong Kong called Tai Hang killed a python, and its body mysteriously disappeared in the morning. Shortly after, the village was plagued by a series of disasters.

Soon after, the villager leader had a dream which told him to perform a fire dragon dance to purge evil spirits and rid the village of bad luck. The villagers then made a huge dragon of straw, covered it with lit incense sticks and accompanied it with firecrackers and drummers. After three days and three nights, the ritual drove the bad luck away.

Later named the Tai Hang Fire Dragon dance, this ritual is still held annually by the Tai Hang villagers to chase away bad luck — though the village has since become a hip neighbourhood of trendy restaurants and apartments. It is a huge event on its own, and the indigenous Tai Hang people return to celebrate this tradition every year — including the younger generations who may not have grown up in the area.

Taking part in the Fire Dragon Dance is no easy feat. Today, the dragon weighs over 100 kilograms, and 300 performers take turns lifting it over a span of two hours for three nights.

Despite it all, these young performers are still proud to participate in their culture and play their part. For them, it is not just about keeping traditions alive; it is about cultivating and retaining that precious sense of belonging to the local community1.

The younger generations are showing that they do not shy away from holding onto old traditions. Here at Eastspring, we too believe in upholding our investment philosophy and finding opportunities that align with our beliefs. Learn more at

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