Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Dragon Boat 龙舟 Globalization & 粽子Dumpling, New Idea

[Song -美丽的神话]Duanwu 端午Festival
A pyramid-shaped dumpling made of glutinous rice, in Zhenjiang city, east China's Jiangsu province, May 28, 2008. People in China began making zongzi to greet the traditional Dragon Boat Festival, which falls on June 8 this year. (Xinhua/Shi Yucheng)

This Festival, also known as Tuen Ng 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, they beat drums to scare fish away and threw dumplings into the sea to keep the fish from eating Qu Yuan's body.

In a dragon boat, there is a drummer sitting in front facing back, a rudder person at the tail, and pairs of rowers in the middle. Those who have competed in the dragon boat races say that paddling in sync and not individual strength is the key to being fast.

Over 5000 years dragon boats have been used for ceremonial purposes in China. The events surrounding the death of the beloved statesman and poet Qu Yuan, 2300 years ago, have lead to memorial racing with dragon boats year by year. Having spread across China for centuries dragon boat racing is one the most ancient Chinese traditions.

Chinas late history made many Chinese from almost all Mainland provinces to settle down in Hong Kong and with them their traditions. By the mid 1970's Hong Kong initiated Dragon Boat Racing to develop as a modern sport, which has become nowadays a Sport for All, fascinating over 50 million people worldwide in 62 countries.

The dragon boat sport is governed by the International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF) and is considered as the worlds fastest growing sport, which now aims for Olympic recognition. Dragon Boat events attract thousands of spectators enjoying the action and atmosphere of the ancient Far-East tradition.