The normally calm waters of Darling Harbour, turn rocky this weekend as more than 200 dragon boats set sail for the annual water racing event, as Sydney continues to celebrate Lunar New Year.
More than 4000 paddlers will be racing from 8:30 am on Saturday, with participants calling it the most culturally inclusive event on the Australian calendar.
The opening ceremony on Friday night included a welcome to the country by the traditional owners of land and water, greeted by dragon boats entering under the Pyrmont Bridge.
“The cultural foundation of dragon boat racing is about protecting life,” said Gavin Mitford, creative director of the ceremony. “It’s actually a beautiful and powerful meeting of cultures with our traditional owners. [meet the dragon boats]”
The Dragon Boat Festival, known as Duanwu Jie in Mandarin and Tuen Ng in Cantonese, takes place in June this year on May 5 of the lunar calendar.
But given Australia’s varying climatic conditions, traditional Chinese water sports have established a reputation as a key event during the Lunar New Year festivities that began last week.
Evidence suggests this activity existed over 2000 years ago, but not as a sport. The main account indicates that it was a spiritual ritual associated with appeasing the rain god (although there are many different origin stories). However, due to China’s Cultural Revolution in the 1960s and his 70s, the authorities treated it as an antiquated pagan festival, treating it as non-existent in secular society and out of the public eye.
Its return to the British rule of Hong Kong has transformed it into a modern global sporting phenomenon that carries its proud cultural heritage around the world.
https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/why-darling-harbour-will-be-filled-with-dragons-this-weekend-20230126-p5cfmd.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_national_nsw Darling Harbor will be full of dragons this weekend