The Chinese Dragon Boat Festival

For All Champ Rowers... Dragon Boat Festival is on June 22, 2023!!!
Chinese Dragon Boat Festival Hong Kong

On the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, or around June in our Calendar, the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival takes place.

There are many legends as to the origin of this festival. One states that it probably got started as a celebration for the planting of the rice crop and to pray for a good rainfall since it was believed that Dragons controlled the rain and rivers.

People would put offerings in the river so that the dragons would bring rain for their crops.

Another legend tells the story of Qu Yuan, who was a scholar an poet. He lived during the Warring States period of the Zhou Dinasty and saw much chaos and uncertainty during his lifetime. According to the legend, the old man drowned himself by jumping from a boat because he could not stand to see his country being destroyed by the poor leaders.

moon cakes dragon boat festival

When the village people went to look for him racing in their long boats, it was too late. The Dragon Boat races have their origin from the efforts of the villagers that raced through the river to find and save Qu Yuan from drowning.

The villagers then would come to the river to throw offerings of rice into the water to calm the man's spirit.

One day, Qu Yuan's spirit returned and told them the rice meant for him, was being devoured by the river dragon. He asked that they wrap the rice in leaves, in shapes like small pyramids. Today, during the Dragon Boat Festival season, people eat these rice dumplings, known as zongzi in memory of the old man.

Chinese Dragon Boat Racing

Nowadays, what characterizes the festivities is the Dragon Boat Races.

Chinese Dragon Boat Festival Hong Kong - Stanley Dragon Boat Races

These are very noisy and exciting events with hundreds of teams competing against each other in this great tradition.

Chinese Dragon Boat Festival Hong Kong - Victoria Harbour Boat Races

Chinese Dragon Boats are long, narrow boats with a dragon's head at one end and a tail at the rear.

Chinese Dragon Boat Head

Teams of rowers paddle together in unison as they race to the finish line!

Chinese Dragon Boat Festival - Teams of rowers paddle together in unison as they race to the finish line

A leader sits in the front by the head, facing the paddlers, and sets the pace by pounding a large drum.

Chinese Dragon Boat Festival - A  drummer sits in the front  and sets the pace by pounding a large drum

Click on the arrow and watch this great clip from the Dragon Boat Races in Xiamen:

And check out our Pinterest board for more Dragon Boat Festivals around the world!

May the New Year turn out to be a very special one for you and your family...
filling each day with peak of health...
abundance of happiness...
bountiful prosperity...
and Zen like serenity...

Gōng Xǐ Fā Cái!

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