Dragon Boat Races My Heart

In Dragon Boat Festival, Hong Kong on June 7, 2011 by triotriotrio Tagged: , ,

The Pink Wigs are in the Forefront

Monday is an official holiday in Hong Kong for the observance of the Tuen Ng Jit Festival. Two events associated with the holiday are preparing and eating zongzi, and racing dragon boats. Zongzi are a type of rice dumpling sometimes known as Chinese Tamales. And dragon boats are long slender paddle powered boats like a canoe. We were excited to participate in our first Festival and planned several activities over the long weekend.

There are Dragon Boat Races that are held throughout Hong Kong but perhaps the best-known one is the one held at Stanley Beach. Jennifer’s firm supported the festival by fielding a team to compete in the competition. They also sent the company’s junk out to the festivities so it could serve as the team’s base and place for refreshment. We were fortunate that there was enough room on the boat for Jennifer and me to join them. The day was a little overwhelming: thousands of spectators, hundreds of teams participating and searing heat but I will do my best to sum up three of my favorite aspects.

Team Panda

Costumes – there are some international teams that come to the competition with their game faces on. But a majority of the teams are there in the spirit of friendly competition. Some of the teams dress up in a common theme that helps to elevate some of the competitiveness. By far my favorite team, besides Jennifer’s firm, was Team Panda. I especially liked that they wore the heavy costumes in the heat. My hat goes off to them. Other well rounded teams including the Pink Wigs, Big Sunglasses,  Black Laced Tutus, and Pirates.

Lunch on the Boat – I have discovered that food is an important part of the Chinese culture. And I fully support Chinese culture in any way I can. The skipper of the junk put out a spread that will not be forgotten. There were roasted sweet potatoes and corn. There was a wide variety of grilled seafood including a great shrimp and garlic dish that was to die for. There were also grilled chicken wings and chicken satay. I would have come only for lunch but instead I also got to see a spectacular sporting event.

Shuttle from Shore to the Boats

Shuttle Service – One of the best aspects of the races was that one could view the races on the water. There was a sophisticated shuttle service that took people back and forth from the mainland to the parked boats. It was a completely different feeling to be able to see the races along side of the competition opposed to looking from the shore.

What a great day. My only complaint was the heat. I must have drunk two gallons of water. But fortunately there was a nice canopy that shielded watchers from direct sun. My only fear is that this heat is a sign of things to come.

Team Warming Up

One Response to “Dragon Boat Races My Heart”

  1. of course i loved team panda!

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