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Dragon Boat Festival


It’s nearly time the annual Dragon Boat Festival, a celebration which nowadays, is celebrated all over the world. We take a look at past, present and future.

The origin of the Dragon Boat Festival is unclear, with different areas offering up their own unique version of events, culminating in this annual event. The most popular story says the festival commemorates the death of Qu Yuan (c. 340–278 BC), a poet and minister who lived in the ancient state of Chu. It is said he was banished for opposing an alliance between the King and the increasingly powerful state of Qin. Eventually Qin conquered Chu and Qu Yuan threw himself into the Miluo River, but local townspeople rushed out in their boats to save him, and when they could not find him, dropped zongzi (balls of sticky rice) so the fish would eat those instead of his body. Another theory claims the festival had its origins in dragon worship, with the sticky rice balls an offering to the dragon king, and the race itself a reflection of the energy and beauty of the dragons themselves.

The Dragon Boat Festival is now celebrated worldwide, though you can still tell its roots are firmly in the Orient, and takes place on the 5th day of the 5th lunar month, normally in May or June if looking on a Gregorian calendar. Today, the festival is celebrated through three main activities, eating zongzi, drinking realgar wine and partaking in dragon boat races. The Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival is one of the biggest and most popular, with races taking place in Stanley, Aberdeen, Saikung, Cheung Chau, Tai O, Sha Tin and Discovery Bay. The Sunlife Stanley International Dragon Boat Championships are some of the largest in the world, with over 200 local and international teams taking part.

So, no matter who you’re hoping crosses the finish line first, charter a private jet to ensure you’re there to see it, with Air Charter Service.

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