Cary, NC — Rowing meets Chinese culture in this ancient, hallowed race. The Dragon Boat Festival is coming to Cary on September 27, 2014.
Chinese Culture Fest
Labeling it an annual event, the nonprofit group, Asian Focus, is bringing an ancient Chinese Tradition to Koka Booth. The first Dragon Boat Festival will be held with rowing competitions, Asian foods, merchandise and dances.
In long, thin boats, 20 people are packed in and handed paddles. Their purpose? To row as fast as they can. Directed by one man on a rudder and kept in rhythm by a drummer, the racers compete against other boats to reach a finish line and claim first place. Corporate and competitive dragon boat teams from around the state will be coming to compete. Feel inclined to give the race a shot? Here is the registration site. Apart from supporting the community, the race is also a great way to get a work out in while having some fun. Above all else, this is a team building competition so if you want to put your ability to work with others to the test, this will be one of the best ways to do it.
Starting nearly 2,500 years ago in southern China, dragon boat races were held as a fertility rite, an event that was to bring a prosperous rice harvest and protection from illnesses. Emulating the battles of dragons, the Chinese deities of water, the races were held as homage to these bringers of prosperity.
An alternative origin suggested is the death of Qu Yuan, a Chinese poet. The poet drowned himself in the Miluo River despite the efforts of local villagers to save him. To protect his body from both fish and evil spirits, the villagers would beat drums and disturb the water with their paddles. From there on, the search for his body became a traditional race held on the anniversary of Qu Yuan’s death.
As a break from the usual hum drum of Cary life, I actually find myself looking forward to this. I doubt I’ll actually take part in the races (don’t think I could raise the money to get in, much less find twenty people to crew the thing) but it would be a welcome sight to watch. I’m curious as to what kind of food will be available, what cultural dances will presented, and what sort of knick-knacks can be picked up. Admission to the festival is free but beyond that… In any case, this is nothing short of novel. If nothing else, I definitely plan on checking it out.
Dragon Boat Festival
Saturday, September 27, 2014
9:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Koka Booth Amphitheatre