While the annual Dragon Boat Festival fell on the third week in June this year, many dragon boat races are held before, during and after the actual Dragon Boat Festival. One of the largest celebrations is in Hong Kong. The International Dragon Boat Festival in Hong Kong is July 2 to 8.
Over 200 international teams from countries such as Germany, Japan, France, Canada, Thailand and the U.S. are competing in dragon boat races at Victoria Harbour, East Tsim Sha Tsui in the largest dragon boat event in Asia.
Now in its 36th year, the Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Races coincides with the commemoration of the 15th anniversary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, a key event that ultimately ended 156 years of British colonial rule.
In addition to the dragon boat races, which re-enact the race to save Chinese poet Qu Yuan who jumped in the water while attempting suicide, the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival will be held starting July 2. The Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival is one of the key events celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival:
The Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival includes the Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Races, the San Miguel BeerFest, and, for the first time, the International Dragon Boat Federation Club Crew World Championships.
Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Races:
The Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Races on July 2 July are from 9am to 5pm. The starting line is near the InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong and the finish line is close to Wing On Plaza. Teams from 12 countries, including Australia, Canada, Mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, the UK and the US are competing in 500-meter standard boat races in 10 categories, including men’s, women’s, and mixed teams.
IDBF Club Crew World Championships:
The 8th IDBF Club Crew World Championships are from 9am to 5pm July 4 to 8 and in the same location at the Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Races. Participants include 170 dragon boat club crews and over 4,000 paddlers from more than 20 countries and regions, including Australia, Canada, Mainland China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Guam, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iran, Malaysia, Macau, New Zealand, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, the UK and the US.
The races feature small and standard dragon boats racing 200-meters, 500-meters, and 2,000-meters in three racing classes , open, women’s and mixed, over three distances.
San Miguel BeerFest:
The free San Miguel BeerFest July 2, 6, 7, and 8 is at UC Centenary Garden in Tsim Sha Tsui East. The eve includes a beer drinking contest and a concert with Sodagreen, Sugar Club, Guo Yi, Ma Nine Hsieh & Friends, ToNick, and Kolor.
For those who want to try their hand at dragon boating without actually having to train, a temporary dragon boat exhibit at Ocean Terminal Forecourt in Harbor City offers the chance for people to sit in one of three boats and paddle during photo ops. The dragon boat exhibit is open June 23 to July 5 at Ocean Terminal Forecourt, July 6 to 8 at Ocean Terminal Harbor City and at Avenue of the Stars.