Cultural Heritage

Cultural Heritage of Dragon Boating

Modern day dragon boating is a truly competitive sport with teams competing up to World Championship level. Over 50 million paddlers participate annually in competitions acrodd the globe and Australia competes strongly on the international stage.

Dragon Boat also has rich cultural origins, being deeply imbedded in China’s “Dragon” Culture.  That's why when we race, each boat is dressed with an ornately carved dragon’s head at the bow and a tail at the stern. The boat is painted with scales and to complete the picture, the paddles symbolically represent the dragon’s claws.

Originally Dragon Boat was used for religious purposes as a way to appease the rain gods. Later Dragon Boat celebrated the life of Qu Yuan, a great warrior poet, who committed suicide in the river Mi Lo, as a protest against political corruption of the day. To commemorate this sacrifice, the people began to organise dragon boat festivals in his memory.

The Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated every year on the 5th day of the 5th Moon (month) of the Chinese lunar calendar.