iSurprise Dragon Boats

Originally from Guangdong province and big in Chinese culture

Paddling Power

Next to Sai Kung pier you see some ‘extra large’ canoes floating in the water, these are dragon boats. You may see groups of peddlers train here for the dragon boat festival. Every year in June, the Sai Kung waterfront gets super busy with people cheering on the teams competing for guts, glory and a barbecued suckling pig.

Dragon boat festivals are really crowded with people and I’m really glad to see that.
— Sai Kung peddler

The origin

Dragon boating originated in the Dongting lake around 2500 years ago. ‘A watercraft powered by humans’ with loud drums created to scare away fish, so the people could find the body of Qu Yuan, a famous Chinese poet who drowned himself in the river.

Dumplings for the dead

The poet jumped in the river to protest against government corruption, the villagers rowed their boats out to try and save their hero. They kept throwing dumplings into the water in hopes of fish eating these rather than the body of the patriot. Still every year on this day, the Sai Kung locals make dumplings. It is the 5th day of the 5th month of the Chinese calendar, the Double Fifth Festival!

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