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The Great Dragon Boat Race
It's War on Water!
I've fallen in love with Dragon Boats!
Races are held down at the Melbourne Docklands, and you'll see me there, watching the dragon-boat racing championships.
The solid beat of drums will accompany frightening-looking dragon heads, the crews will give their gallant best and the boats will stab through the water to reach the finish line. And I'll be there!
Dragon Boat in Darling Harbour
The Dragon Boat Festival
Way back in the Zhou Dynasty, there was a man named Qu Yuan who served as minister to Emperor Zhou. After hearing that Zhou's kingdom had been defeated, Qu Yuan threw himself into the river in despair.
Villagers and fisherman headed out onto the river in long boats, trying desperately to save Qu Yuan but were too late to do so. To keep fish and evil spirits away from his body, they beat drums and thrashed the water with paddles. They also threw rice into the water both as a food offering to Qu Yuan's spirit and also to distract the fish away from his body
So, to commemorate Qu Yuan, we have the Dragon Boat Festival. There are two happy ways to celebrate - having dragon boat races and eating zongzi.
A statue of Qu Yuan in a dragon boat on one of Singapore's central streets as a display for the Dragon Boat Festival
Adrian Wong introduced me to Dragon Boat racing
I had the pleasure of working with Adrian at Radio 3CR and though all of our numerous discussions on current affairs, politics and the fine art of broadcasting, his involvement with Dragon Boat racing somehow never came up. When it did, I was an instant fan.
Adrian is the State Team Manager for Dragon Boat Victoria, and he wields a hefty paddle himself.
Moonbeams, Dumplings & Dragon Boats: A Treasury of Chinese Holiday Tales, Activities & Recipes
I picked up this handy collection to discover the stories behind the trappings of Chinese festivals. I always like to know the history, the stories, behind any celebration. I enjoy knowing the significance of festivities and I enjoy, also, the chance to pass on the meaning to the younger ones.
Fabulous Fun for the Family.The grandchildren are delighted - and so am I
Dragon Boats in Action - The Women Crews awe me!
How about you?
Have you ever watched a Dragon Boat Race?
The lure of gold brought many thousands to Australia, including Chinese. By 1861, the Chinese community was already thriving, making up nearly 7% of the Victorian population and Melbourne’s Little Bourke Street became a bustling centre for Chinese cultural and business activity. It still is.
So the history of the Chinese in Melbourne is no different to the history of the Europeans who came here. But they have Dragon Boat races!
© 2012 Susanna Duffy