During the annual Dragon Boat Festival, three fishermen's associations in west Lantau Island’s tranquil fishing village of Tai O organise a religious ritual known as The Dragon Boat Water Parade of Tai O (or the Tai O Deities Parade) which takes place on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month.
On the morning before the festival, the participating fishermen row out their dragon boats to visit four temples — Yeung Hau, San Tsuen Tin Hau, Kwan Tai and Hung Shing – and carry the deity statues from these temples to their associations' halls for worship. On the day of the festival, the deity statues are put on sacred sampans and towed by the dragon boats in a parade through the waters of Tai O to pacify the wandering water ghosts. Many residents of the stilt houses that are sprinkled along the watercourses burn paper offerings as the dragon boats pass by. The deity statues are then returned to their respective temples after the ritual.
Inscribed on China's third national list of intangible cultural heritage in 2011, The Dragon Boat Water Parade of Tai O provides an opportunity to experience Hong Kong’s living culture up close, and to squeeze in a visit to an old stilt house community at the same time.
- Take the New Lantao Bus 11 at MTR Tung Chung Station to Tai O Bus Terminus. The journey takes about 50 minutes; or,
- MTR Tung Chung Station Exit B. Take Ngong Ping cable car to Ngong Ping Village (approximately 25 minutes). Take bus 21 to Tai O terminus (approximately 20 minutes).