Dragon Boat Race in Hong Kong
Dragon boat racing festival has its roots in Chinese folklore, commemorating a hero who drowned over 2000 years ago while protesting against corrupt rulers in China
Colourful dragon boats filled Hong Kong’s waterfronts as participants competed in the city’s annual dragon boat race.
Dragon boat racing is now a sport, but the festival has its roots in Chinese folklore, commemorating a hero who drowned in the Mi Lo River over 2000 years ago while protesting against corrupt rulers in China.
“Today is the Tuen Ng festival, that refers to a person from ancient Chinese history, Qu Yuan, two thousand years ago, he was killed by an official back then, in the ancient time of the warring states of Chu,” civil servant Donald Siu said.
The story goes that people attempted to rescue Qu Yuan by beating drums to scare fish away and by throwing dumplings into the water to prevent the fish from eating his body.
“This place has been a fishing village all the way back to the Opium wars, and this place has been there all around. This reflects Hong Kong’s origins as a fishing village,” Siu said.
One of the iconic locations for the annual competition is the former fishing village of Aberdeen, which today, is a densely populated urban neighbourhood.
“The weather is good, and then the atmosphere here is pretty special. This is Aberdeen, isn’t it. There’s a lot of fishing boats, lots of fishermen,” Hong Kong resident Andy Wan said.
Teams trained for weeks, sometimes months, in the lead-up to the festival.
It is held annually on the fifth day of the fifth month of the lunar calendar to honor the death of Qu Yuan.