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Dragon Boat Festival: Where to go and what to do

by Alanna Emmerton | | 0 comments

All eyes will be on the on Hong Kong's fragrant harbor tomorrow as the annual Dragon Boat Festival (also known as Tuen Ng or Duan Wu Festival) takes place. 

Dragon Boat Racing is a serious spectator sport in Hong Kong. Teams of paddlers race long narrow boats to the beat of a drum down to the finish line. Training sessions on the sea can be seen and heard all year round in preparation for these races, which draws in hundreds of international teams and a series of events throughout the summer months. 

According to popular legend, the Dragon Boat Festival originates from the Zhou Dynasty where Qu Yuan, a well known poet and minister was banished for opposing the alliance the King made with an increasingly powerful enemy state. In protest and despair, he drowned himself by jumping in the river. The local people, who admired him, raced out in their boats to save him. When his body could not be found, they splashed the water with their paddles, beat drums and threw parcels of rice into the water so that it would keep evil spirits away and distract fish from eating his body.

Today it is one of the most celebrated Chinese Festivals in the territory. People participate in dragon boat races for a bit of competitive fun and to commemorate Qu Yuan's sacrifice, where they also eat 'zong zi', the sticky rice parcels wrapped in leaves, on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese lunar calendar.

We have put together a list of locations where races and events will be taking place throughout the city. This will include races, open-air street markets and carnivals, with performers, game booths, food and drink. Grab a beer and 'zong zi', and cheer along with hundreds of thousands spectators at this energetic and colorful festival!

Dragon Boat Festival: When and Where 

1) Stanley 

When: 8:00 a.m. - approx. 6:00 p.m.
Where: Stanley Main Beach

2) Lantau - Tai O Fishing Village 

When:  8:00 a.m. to approx. 2:00 p.m.
Where: Tai O waterfront.

3) Lantau - Discovery Bay 

When:  8:00 a.m. to approx. 3:30 p.m.

Where: Tai Pak Beach, Discovery Bay, Lantau Island.

4) Aberdeen

When:  8:00 a.m. to approx. 6:00 p.m.

Where: Aberdeen Promenade

5) Cheug Chau 

When:  10:00 a.m. to approx. 4:00 p.m.

Where: Cheung Chau Typhoon Shelter.

6) Sai Kung 

When:  8:00 a.m. to approx. 2:00 p.m.

Where: Saikung Town Waterfront.

7) Sha Tin

When:  8:00 a.m. to approx. 1:00 p.m.

Where: Shing Mun River, Sha Tin in the New Territories

Photo credits: 1, 2, 3, 

 

 

Tags: boat, chinesefestival, dragonboatfestival, Hong Kong life, HongKong, hongkongculture, ocean, publicholiday, racing, summer

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