Visiting the oldest village on HK Island

With a history dating back to 1730, Pok Fu Lam Village is the oldest village on Hong Kong Island, and the oldest family has been living there for 7 generations. Located at the foot of Mt. High West at the southwest of the Island, facing the ocean, it embraces an abundant nature of green plants and various insects. A fusion of large and small buildings lying on the hilly land, with narrow ramps winding among them. Maybe because of this close relationship to nature, people remain in respect of it. Every here and there small shrines are set for gods in charge of Heaven and Land.

Although most houses are eroded by time and many original residents have moved to nearby newer neighborhoods, renters flooding in help keep the vitality. Traditions are passed on too. Every year on Mid-Autumn Festival, villagers still have their annual Fire Dragon Dance celebration. By putting lit incense on straw-made dragon and holding it around the village, they believe this ritual will dispel bad luck and bring happiness.

I was surprised to find this same kind of celebration as we have in my hometown. The small differences are that we usually have the celebration at the beginning of the rural new year, and we would burn the dragon at the end of the ritual to send it back to Heaven instead of dipping it and sending it back to the sea. What a nice coincidence!

Here is a short video showing the villagers preparing for the celebration this year.


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