Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival

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Timings : 7 June 2019 to 9 June 2019

Time Required : 2-3 hours

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Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival, Hong Kong Overview

The dragon boat festival in Hong Kong is a traditional holiday being observed annually for over 2,000 years now to preserve the memory of the Chinese poet and politician Qu Yuan who is known for his patriotism. It is one of the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage. During this festive time, the canoes are painted in bright vibrant colors to take the form of a traditional Chinese dragon and boat races to take place.

During the three days of Dragon Boat Festival, people visit cities to enjoy various festivities like eating rice dumplings (zongzi), drinking realgar wine and racing dragon boats. The activities and games that take place here were often regarded to be an effective way of preventing evil and promoting well being by ancient people. The festival is known by different names in different parts of China and the world like the Duanwu Festival and double fifth festival.

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Venue & How to Reach

The Dragon Boat Festival takes place in Victoria Harbour Central Waterfront.

The most convenient way to reach the venue is by MTR. Get off at MTR Admiralty Station or MTR Central Station and make an exit from exit A. Victoria Harbour 10-minute walk from there.

Another way is to get off at MTR Hong Kong Station, exit A2 and walk for 8 minutes to reach the venue. One can also take a Star Ferry from Tsim Sha Tsui to Central and walk for 2 minutes.

Dragon Boat Festival Traditions

Dragon boat race: It is the most important event of the dragon boat festival. The wooden boats are designed in Chinese dragon shape. The race begins with beating drums and it is believed that the winning team will have good luck and a happy life for the next year.

Eating sticking rice dumplings: Zongzi is the most traditional dragon boat festival food. It is so because it is believed that after Qu Yuan jumped into the river, locals started throwing rice in the water so that the fish won’t eat Qu Yuan’s drowning body.

Drinking realgar wine: Realgar wine is a Chinese alcoholic drink made up of fermented cereals that are believed to drive evil away.

Wearing perfume pouches: During the dragon boat festival, parents put little pouches of perfume around kids’ necks which is also believed to drive away the evil.

Five colored silk threaded braid: During the dragon boat festival, parents tie five colored silk thread braids on the wrists of their children to protect them from any evil or disease. The five colors are - green, red, white, black and yellow

Dragon Boat Race during Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival
Dragon Boat Race

Origin of Dragon Boat Festival

The festival commemorates the life and death of a Chinese poet Qu Yuan who was born in a ruling family. His wisdom and intellect estranged the fellow courtiers, thus they accused him of false charges of conspiracy and he was exiled by the king. In great despair, Yuan drowned himself in the Miluo River on the 5th of the 5th lunar month. Hence, the dragon boat festival is celebrated to seek the body of the patriotic poet from the river.

Hong kong Dragon Boat Festival
Dragons boats ready to be used

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