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Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival

Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival Highlights 2014

Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival Highlights 2014

Follow the lead of Hong Kongers and make a party out of an ancient Chinese festival under the modern skyline of Victoria Harbour. Boats, beers and the cheers of hundreds of thousands of spectators – it’s the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival.

Watch thousands of the world’s top dragon boat athletes battle it out at the Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Races – three days of intense racing that will fill the harbour with heart-stopping action, a profusion of colour and the sounds of drummers and fans urging paddlers on to the finish line. Come time to wind down, join athletes and spectators at BeerFest for ice-cold beer and rocking live music.

So dive in and chill out at this year’s Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival!

See photos and video highlights from the 2014 edition here:

Photo Gallery

3-5 July 2015

It all started in 1976 when Hong Kong fishermen participated in an international dragon boat race (there was one foreign team – from 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.

This year, thousands of athletes from all over the world will compete in Victoria Harbour, with Hong Kong’s iconic skyline as the backdrop. As always, it promises to be a thrilling event in the home of modern dragon boat racing.

3-5 July 2015
Victoria Harbour, East Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
 How to get there
  • MTR Tsim Sha Tsui Station, Exit G, walk along Mody Road towards the East Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront for about 15 minutes.
  • MTR East Tsim Sha Tsui Station, Exit P1.
  • Star Ferry from either Central or Wan Chai to Tsim Sha Tsui. Turn right after alighting from the ferry and walk along the waterfront for about 15 minutes.
International Races

International Grand Championships
Winning teams from local and international races will compete against Hong Kong’s best to be named victors of the international grand championships:

  • International Open Grand Championship
  • International Mixed Grand Championship
  • International Women’s Grand Championship

International Championships
Teams from outside Hong Kong will compete in five international championships:

  • International Open Championship
  • International Mixed Championship
  • International Women’s Championship
  • International Paradragon Championship
  • International Breast Cancer Survivor Championship
Races for Breast Cancer Survivors

This year, we have among us a group of warriors -- the breast cancer survivors (BCS). Crowned with the triumph of having defeated cancer, they will now vie for glory in the ‘International Breast Cancer Survivor Championship’, introduced in an effort to further promote the sport as a means to enhance physical and social wellbeing.

Since the first BCS dragon boat team ‘Abreast in a Boat’ was formed in 1996 as part of a study at the University of British Columbia on the impact of exercise on BCS, more and more BCS have found themselves benefiting from dragon boating, a sport that provides strenuous upper body activity in beautiful surroundings and a socially supportive environment which is now practised around the world.

Local Races

Top local teams will vie for victory in the following races:

  • President Shield
  • Chairman Shield

Local Championships‧Local Invitational Races
Local teams representing the banking, commercial corporations, professional bodies, and disciplinary forces etc will take part in the following races:

Local Championships

  • Open Championship
  • Mixed Championship
  • Women’s Championship
  • Inter-Company Championship
  • Banking Championship
  • Junior U23 Championship

Local Invitational Races

  • Hong Kong Districts Championship
  • Professionals Invitational Race
  • Disciplinary Forces Invitational Race
  • Uniformed Youth Groups Championship
  • Post-secondary Schools Invitational Race

Remarks: Programme subject to change without prior notice.

More Fun and Games at the Dragon Boat Carnival

The Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival includes some zanier races that are just as hotly contested and just as spectacular to watch in the harbour. A dizzying array of fun and game will easily keep you busy throughout the day.

  • Youth Dragon Boat Training Programme
    Youth Dragon Boat Training Programme participants from various uniformed youth groups and post-secondary schools will vie for glory at the races.
  • Fancy Dress Race
    Local and overseas teams will compete for the ‘Best Costume Award’ in an eye-catching event.
  • Roving Performances
    A flamboyant cast of marching bands, clowns and assorted entertainers are sure to put a smile on your face. Join in the fun with your favourite costume and props!
 Did You Know
About Dragon Boat Racing

Know your dragon boat races!

At the Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Races, you can see both standard dragon boat races and small dragon boat races.


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 mingle to live music performances, dance and enjoy jugs of refreshing beer.

Come for a few cold ones and soak up the party atmosphere. Stay to meet new friends, dance the day away. Don’t forget to check out the actual dragon boat races too! Cheers!

3-5 July 2015
UC Centenary Garden, East Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
 How to get there
  • MTR Tsim Sha Tsui Station, Exit G, walk along Mody Road towards the East Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront for about 15 minutes.
  • MTR East Tsim Sha Tsui Station, Exit P2.

Many dragon boat races will be held in different districts in Hong Kong. Come and join the fun!

Hong Kong Island

Dragon Boat Races in Tai Tam Tuk
16th Deep Water Bay Dragon Boat Regatta
Stanley International Dragon Boat Championships
2015 Aberdeen Dragon Boat Race


New Territories

Kwai Tsing District Dragon Boat Invitation Races
Sha Tin Dragon Boat Race 2015
2015 Sai Kung Dragon Boat Race Gala
Tai Po District Dragon Boat Race 2015
Tuen Mun District Dragon Boat Race 2015


Outlying Islands

Dragon Boat Races in Sok Kwu Wan, Lamma Island
Mui Wo Dragon Boat Race Open 2015
Dragon Boat Races in Lok Chau Wan, Lamma Island
Discovery Bay Dragon Boat Races and Carnival
Tai O Dragon Boat Racing Competition 2015
Cheung Chau Dragon Boat Races
Tai O Dragon Boats Racing Competition

Information is correct as of 20 April 2015 and subject to change by event organisers without prior notice.

Dragon Boat Festival

The Dragon Boat Festival falls on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. You can find the Western calendar date here.

It’s hard to imagine that the vibrancy and fun 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

The real highlight of the festival is the fierce-looking dragon boats racing in a lively, vibrant 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. See details here.

20 June 2015

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