Annual dragon boat race held on Suzhou's Jinji Lake
2018-06-19 16:15:00

The ancient Chinese tradition of dragon boat racing took place at Jinji Lake in Suzhou, East China's Jiangsu province, on June 18. [Photo/WeChat account: suzhoufabu365]

The ancient Chinese tradition of dragon boat racing has become a common cultural event for both paddlers from home and abroad across China. One such event took place at Jinji Lake in Suzhou, East China's Jiangsu province, on June 18.

The city has hosted the annual race titled "Shared Joy in Jiangsu" for eight consecutive years on the day of the Dragon Boat Festival, with enthusiastic participants and spectators alike making for a great festive atmosphere.

The festival commemorates the death of Qu Yuan, a Chinese poet who drowned himself in a river following the defeat of his homeland capital in the middle of China's Warring States period. To keep the scavenging fish away from his body, villagers took to their boats, beat their drums, and splashed their paddles.

Thousands of spectators flocked to the Moonlight Wharf in the early morning to watch the race, as 66 teams from home and abroad competed against each other, including ten teams made up of 220 foreign athletes.

Teams of paddlers powered down the 300-meter waterway in Jinji Lake in long, narrow boats to the rhythmic beating of drums, aiming to win in three categories.

The event has enjoyed a boosted profile in recent years as an increasingly international celebration of Dragon Boat Festival, as people from many different nationalities transcend their cultural differences to be part of the tradition which dates back over 2,000 years.

"I was very excited. It's my first time trying dragon boating," said Magnus Jorem, program manager of Nordic Centre at Fudan University, having truly enjoyed his first dragon boat experience.

Source:chinadaily.com.cn Editor:Hiram
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