- Title: CHINA: DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL GETS UNDERWAY IN HONG KONG.
- Date: 22nd June 2004
- Summary: (L!3) HONG KONG, CHINA (JUNE 22, 2004) (REUTERS) WIDE OF CROWDED STANLEY BEACH DRAGON BOAT ROWERS CHEERING VARIOUS OF ROWERS DRESSED IN FUNNY COSTUMES DRAGON BOATS MOVING OUT TO STARTING POINT SPECTATORS WATCHING VARIOUS OF DRAGON BOAT RACE SOUNDBITE (Cantonese) ESTHER HUI ROWER SAYING: "We will try our best to win" VARIOUS OF DRAGON BOATS COMPETING IN RACES VARIOUS OF ROWERS PREPARING FOR RACES SPECTATORS WATCHING RACE IN WATER VARIOUS OF DRAGON BOATS COMPETING IN RACES ROWER WAVING A FRENCH FLAG
- Embargoed: 7th July 2004 13:00
- Location: HONG KONG, CHINA
- Country: Hong Kong
- Topics: Entertainment,General,Sports
- Reuters ID: LVA12L5MXXRFS89E5KM73EJAIXOI
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Vibrant Dragon Boat festival kicks off in full swing along Hong Kong's Stanley beach.
A record-breaking 153 teams participated in the annual dragon boat races at Hong Kong's Stanley Beach on Tuesday (June 22).
Organisers said over 10,000 local and expatriate participants and spectators are expected to attend the Dragon Boat racing event.
Participants were adorned in colourful garb and paraphernalia and spirits were high all around as the race was about it start.
This year marks the 37th year of the Stanley Dragon Boat Championships which take place every year on the date of the Tuen Ng Festival.
The origins of dragon boating in Stanley go back to the 1800s. The Dragon Boat Championships reflect Stanley's origins as a small fishing village. Many of the local inhabitants relied on the sea for their livelihood, so it was only natural that dragon boat racing became a popular way to celebrate the Tuen Ng Festival.
The Tuen Ng Festival, also known as Dragon Boat Festival, commemorates the death of a popular Chinese national hero, Qu Yuan, who drowned himself in the Mi Lo River over 2,000 years ago to protest against the corrupt rulers.
Legend says that as townspeople attempted to rescue him by beating drums to scare fish away and threw dumplings into the sea to keep the fish from eating Qu Yuan's body.
The real highlight of the festival is the fierce dragon boats racing in a lively, vibrant spectacle.
Teams race the elaborately decorated dragon boats to the beat of heavy drums.
The special boats, which measure more than 10 metres, have ornately carved and painted "dragon" heads and tails, and each carries a crew of around twenty people.
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