Greeting the Dragon
The dragon dance event in the Miaoli region is called “Greeting the Dragon” in Hakka; it represents greeting and welcoming the Auspicious Dragon. In the earling days, the Greeting the Dragon period takes place over three evenings from the Lunar 15th of the first month to the Lunar 17th. According to local customs, dragon teams will send out invitations bearing the words “Salutations form the Golden Dragon” to the households on their route to inform the people on which day the dragon team will be coming to visit. The Hakka people believe that a visit from a “Divine Dragon” has the same auspicious meaning as a “visit from a deity” – capable of warding off evil and bringing good fortune to the household. So once they receive news of the visit, they will prepare golden incense, firecrackers, and red envelopes to wait at home until the dragon team arrives; they would open their front gates and set off firecrackers to welcome the “Divine Dragon” into their home. Once the dragon dance is complete, red envelopes are handed out as a blessing for the New Year and also as a reward for the team’s hard work.