The Hong Kong “Tuen Ng” Dragon Boat Festival
Celebrated: June 6, 2011
Location: Hong Kong; the main race is at Stanley
Category: Chinese Festivals
The Tuen Ng Festival or Dragon Boat Festival falls on on June 6, 2011. There will be races or festivities and parades since it is a traditional Chinese festival, but the Dragon Boat races are what most people look forward to ,and thousands of contestants train for and prepare for it. Races are held at several places including Stanley and Yau Ma Tei, but the biggest race and the most popular is held at the town of Stanley that is on the southern coast of Hong Kong Island. The town has a long history, and it is a tourist attraction for the shopping and restaurants. Now the biggest dragon boat races in Hong Kong are held in the same bay at Stanely Beach, and the races include both expats and locals and teams of men and women contestants. Dragon Boat racing has become an international sport in recent decades, so the races conform to international rules now. The races are exciting for both contestants and spectators, but the contestants have the most fun. They dress up in team uniforms and run in heats, and you can watch the races on June 6 in 2011. China Highlights is your China travel expert. (see why choose us to have a China trip). We can help you customize a trip to Hong Kong to watch this festival. Also see our Hong Kong Tours
Stanley Dragon Boat Race
In recent years, there have been more than a hundred teams competing in the Sun Life Stanley International Dragon Boat Championship at Stanley Beach in Stanley. There are men’s and women’s races and mixed races. Stanley’s races are popular among the local expats and among the locals. Bars, clubs, and community teams participate. This year, there are actually three races that are scheduled to be held on different dates. The main race is scheduled to be held on the day of the Dragon Boat Festival (龙舟节) on June 6, 2011. A warm-up race is scheduled for May 10, 2011. A “Re-unification Short Course” race is scheduled for June 26, 2011. The main Dragon Boat Festival has historically been held even when there is stormy weather, so people can plan on the event barring a typhoon or disaster. The Stanley Dragon Boat races have become a festive and exciting sport for the thousands of contestants, and it is an international sporting event.
In the 2010 Dragon Boat race, the festivities lasted all day from about 9 to 5. The heats can only have about ten boats per heat due to the size of the racing area. On shore on the beach, thousands of people partied and watched the races and the water fights between the teams. There was a lot of cheering and formalities with speaker and official trophey presentations. Along with festivities, eating, drinking and fun, there was also some serious competition between the best teams. The boats race in lanes that are marked by floats, and there are clear rules that the contestants have to follow. So it is meant to be both a serious sport and fun and recreation at the same time. The teams were generally either white teams or Chinese teams, but there may have been teams of other nationalities as well. A lot depended on the skill and timing of the drummer aboard the boat. A drummer’s sense of the optimal stroke speed for his or her boat counted a lot towards victory.
The teams were dressed colorfully and even flamboyantly. Some of the contestants were painted or dyed. There was a lot of cheering, and it was obvious that the best teams trained to paddle in unison quickly. There boats had teams of twenty paddlers. One person sat in the back steering, and one person sat at the front beating the rhythm on the drum. There were expat races, local races, and women races. In 2010, a Caucasian team won their division and received a big trophy. Probably everybody had a fun day though. Companies, sports associations, and clubs all entered teams.
Stanley Dragon Boat Race History
Stanley was a fishing village in the 1960s, and the Chinese fishermen held races as a tradition. In the 1970s, expats began to enter the race and competed with the teams of Chinese men. In the 1970s, women teams also entered in the competiton. It was traditionally a sport for men. Now, women teams are common. Various groups and teams including Boy Scouts, clubs, companies and bars enter teams. The Stanley races are the biggest races in Hong Kong. In the last few years, the races have appeared on world networks.
Dragon Boat Festival
The international Dragon Boat races originally started as an ancient traditional race and festival that has been celebrated for maybe more than 2,000 years in China. It was outlawed after 1949 because of its religious emphasis however, and the festival has only regained popularity in recent years. The festival remained popular in Hong Kong. The festival has a lot of names in Hong Kong. It is called the Dragon Boat Festival (龙舟节), the Duan Wu Festival (端午节) in Mandarin, and the Poet’s Festival. In Cantonese that is the most commonly spoken language in Hong Hong, it is called the Tuen Ng Jit. The festivities include giving gifts of wrapped food and parades. The Dragon Boat Festival is an important festival in Hong Kong. Read more on Dragon Boat Festival
I updated this article on February 11, 2014
See all my travel articles
Questions and Answers About The Hong Kong “Tuen Ng” Dragon Boat Festival
- Dragon Boat Festival (Duanwu)
- Dragon Boat Racing
- Hangzhou Dragon Boat Festival
- Fenghuang Dragon Boat Racing
- Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival
- Zhanjiang Dragon Boat Racing
- Quanzhou Dragon Boat Racing