Thursday, June 17, 2010

Tam Kung Festival

Every year on the 8th day of the 4th month of the lunar calendar in Shau Kei Wan of the Eastern District in Hong Kong, there is a celebration of Tam Kung. Local residents, particularly fisherman, worship this god of the sea at the Tam Kung Temple, also located here.

This year, on May 21, I attended the festival celebrating Tam Kung. A parade of most (maybe all?) of the lion dance groups in Hong Kong wrapped around the neighborhood for 3 hours. The weather was hot, thick, and sticky, the streets packed with people all trying to get a glimpse of the lions.

After an hour or so, I needed a break from the mayhem and my friend and I slipped into a small dim sum restaurant. Taking away the visual aspect, I noticed that each group had their own distinct drum rhythm during the parade, and soon I could guess which group was about to pass the restaurant. I snapped a few shots and caught a little footage, check it out:

Waiting for the show to start.

Children posing with the lion heads.

It was tough to get the lion dancing on video with so many people around, but this is the best I could do:

Watch this one for a taste of the drumming:

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