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Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival

Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival 2017 Highlights

 Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival 2017 Highlights

In Hong Kong, an ancient Chinese festival has become one of the world’s greatest parties — the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival. And every year, boats, beers and cheers draw hundreds of thousands of revellers and spectators to stunning Victoria Harbour.

Thousands of the world’s top dragon boat athletes battle it out in the CCB (Asia) Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Races, before enjoying ice-cold beer and live entertainment alongside spectators at BeerFest.

Only Hong Kong can take an ancient Chinese tradition and transform it into a modern sport and international party. Experience it for yourself — see photos from the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival 2017, and stay tuned for the 2018 event!

Photo Gallery

22–24 June 2018
Central Harbourfront

CCB (Asia) Hong KongIt all started in 1976 when Hong Kong fishermen participated in an international dragon boat race (there was one foreign team — from Nagasaki, Japan) off Shau Kei Wan. Nobody would have guessed that this humble event would go on to spark an explosion of worldwide interest in dragon-boat racing and transform this ancient Chinese folk ritual into a modern international sport.

In 2017, around 5,000 athletes from over 160 teams from Hong Kong and beyond competed in the CCB (Asia) Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Races. Representative dragon boat teams from different Hong Kong districts were also invited to take part in the HKSAR 20th Anniversary CCB (Asia) Trophy, while the Fancy Dress Competition brought some light-hearted fun.

Check back nearer the festival date for details on the 2018 races.

 Did You Know
About Dragon Boat Racing

Know your dragon boat races!

At the ‘CCB (Asia) Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Races’, you can see two types of dragon boats: the standard and the small. Click the picture for more information!

San Miguel
You are at the waterfront. Drums are beating, muscles are twitching and boats are slicing through the waters of Victoria Harbour to the finish line. Now where will you wind down from all the adrenaline of watching the dragon boat races? BeerFest of course! Right next to all the racing action is a festival where athletes and spectators drink cold beer and enjoy live entertainment.

Sponsored by San Miguel in 2017, the event included some of Asia’s best-loved performers, a ‘dry land dragon boat challenge’ and a beer drinking competition. Stay tuned for details of what’s lined up for 2018!

The Dragon Boat Festival falls on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month (18 June 2018).

It’s hard to imagine that the vibrancy of today’s colourful festivities has its origins in a tragedy that occurred 2,000 years ago. The Dragon Boat Festival, also known as the Tuen Ng Festival, commemorates the death of Qu Yuan, a Chinese national hero. In a protest against corrupt rulers, Qu drowned himself in the Mi Lo River.

To scare away fish from eating his body, the townspeople beat drums and threw glutinous rice dumplings called zongzi into the water. Today, this event is remembered by Chinese people around the world, who eat zongzi and go swimming or at least dip their hands in rivers or lakes.

Dragon Boat Races

Dragon Boat Festival

The real highlight of the festival is the fierce-looking dragon boats racing in a lively, colourful spectacle. Teams race the elaborately decorated dragon boats to the beat of heavy drums. The special boats, which measure more than 10 metres, have ornately carved and painted 'dragon' heads and tails, and each carries a crew of 20-22 paddlers. Participants train in earnest for the competition. Sitting two abreast, with a steersman at the back and a drummer at the front, the paddlers race to reach the finishing line, urged on by the pounding drums and the roar of the crowds.

Communities across Hong Kong will celebrate the festival with locally organised dragon boat races. Details of these events will become available closer to the festival date.