I’m a bit late compared to everybody on this one!
First of all, a wee bit of history, in my own words, as narrated by Jeffers (meaning = it may not be the most accurate piece of history known to mankind): a long-time ago, a very loyal Chinese minister committed suicide in a river when the king accused him of treason. The villagers, who respected the minister, got on their boats to retrieve his body and this is how Dragon Boat races were invented).
In Hong Kong, the Dragon Boat Festival started on 01 June, with local races taking place on 01 & 02 June and international races from 06 to 08 June.
We went to see the international races and it was a lot more interesting than I expected it to be.
The boats are long and narrow with a dragon head and tail; the teams were usually made of 10 paddlers, a drummer (to give the pace) and a steersman – obviously steering the boat.
The vibe of these races is really impressive: the beat of the drum guiding the crew, crew members shouting and swearing to encourage each other, the speed at which they go and the crowd cheering along.
You can spot crew members really easily in the crowd: muscular arms, extra tanned body, soaked in sweat and eating ice lollies.
We got to see quite a few nice races with some nifty crews: US national team, Taiwanese national team, HK firemen crew…
Let’s see if I can post the video I took for you guys.