Fun, food, and fierce competition fire up New York Dragon Boat Festival

China 24

The 27th annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York has just wrapped-up after two-days of fun.

CGTN’s John Terrett took in the excitement.

Henry Wan is in charge of making sure the 27th annual event runs smooth.

“It is both a sporting event and a cultural event,” according to the festival chairman. “There’s very few events that have that combination and people enjoy this.”

The Dragon Boat racing takes place in the shadow of what was once known as the World’s Fair, held at the same site in the 1960s.

More than 200 teams take part: some semi-professional and others weekend warriors. But they’re all out for fun, and fiercely competitive.

It’s said Dragon Boat racing goes back over 2,000 years and honors Qu Yuan, a Chinese poet and patriot who drowned. According to legend, to stop fish from eating his body, the locals ventured out in boats to beat the water with paddles and throw in food.

Today, the locals stick to the banks, while crews battle it out on the water.

“We are very excited about our result this year,” one crew member said. “We have been training really hard. We come here every Saturday for the past few weeks and now we are glad that it’s all good.”