Holding a special place in Chinese culture, the dragon rides the clouds in the sky and commands the wind, mist and rain, with the head of an ox, a deer’s antlers, the mane of a horse and the body and scales of a snake.
The first dragon boat races were held to commemorate Qu Yuan, the great warrior poet, who committed suicide in the river Mi Lo as a protest against the political corruption of the day. Since that time over 2000 years ago, dragon boat racing has become a major part of Chinese culture, representing patriotism and group integrity.
The spirit and power of the dragon come alive in Sydney as 12-metre long boats, large enough to seat up to 20 paddlers, battle it out to the beating of drums. Each boat has an ornately carved dragon’s head at the bow and a tail at the stern, while the hull is painted with dragon scales and the paddles represent the claws.
Held at Cockle Bay, City of Sydney’s Dragon Boat Races are a heartstopping way to celebrate Chinese New Year!
The Chinese New Year of the Horse was warmly welcomed with an Opening Ceremony for Dragon Boat paddling on Saturday 08 February 2014 at Cockle Bay, Darling Harbour! Paddlers from all over NSW along with a crowd of enthusiastic supporters, spectators, tourists and the general public enjoyed a day filled with culture and fast paced festival racing!
Check out some pictures from the day here