Kamis, 30 April 2009

Enjoy The Dragon Boat Festival in Hong Kong

There is always a reason to visit Hong Kong. The name "Hong Kong" in the English language is an approximate phonetic rendering of the Cantonese or Hakka pronunciation of the Chinese name "Siang Kang", meaning "fragrant harbour" or "fragrant port". I'm not certain why Hong Kong is named like that, but visiting Hong Kong for honeymoon or holiday destination is very enjoyable and unforgettable. 24 hours of entertainment, many kind of fine cuisines, and amazingly shopping centers. For sheer variety of products and brands in all price ranges, Hong Kong is a unique shopping experience. From glitzy malls to funky street markets, and trendy boutiques to traditional Chinese product stores and themed shopping districts, you can find everything from the latest designer fashions and electronic gadgets to best-value antiques and collectibles.

Now, if you have a plan to visit Hong Kong this May, you will enjoy many exotic
and interesting Chinese Festivals. One of those Traditional Festivals is The Dragon Boat Festival. Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. This ancient event, also known as Tuen Ng Festival, there are different findings about the origin of Tuen Ng. The mostly widely accepted one is about the patriotic scholar-statesman Chu Yuan who drowned himself to protest against the emperor. Chu Yuan worked very hard to offer good counsel to the emperor but the emperor won't listen.


People respect Chu Yuan. When they heard that he was drowned, they jumped on boats to search for him. This is a part of what the Dragon Boat Festival commemorates every year. Failing to find Chu Yuan, people hit drums and making loud noised hoping to scare the fish and won't touch Chu Yuan's body. People lived along the river also put cooked rice in the river as a sacrifice. But then they found that the fish got the rice so people wrapped the cooked rice in bamboo leaves. This evolves to present day's rice dumplings.


The Chinese people in Indonesia celebrate this festival too, the rice dumpling is called "Bacang" and Indonesian Chinese call the festival as "Peh Cun" in Hokkian dialect or "Pachuan".

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.


Dragon boating is one of the world’s fastest growing sports and is basically a race between multiple long wooden boats. In Hong Kong, dragon boating is extremely competitive and teams train and race all year round, often in preparation for the festival. Festival time also sees teams descend from all over the world to participate, and races get very heated.

For tourists and honeymooners you will find many attractive activities along the beach. A number of beachside areas in Hong Kong will turn into mini-carnivals, with food, drinks and outside seating set-up to watch the proceedings. Some of the best locations to see the events are Sha Tin in the New Territories, which is a good choice for families, Aberdeen on the south-side of Hong Kong Island, and Stanley, which remains the party-goers choice, as both expats and alcohol arrive in equal numbers.

Another interesting festivals on May are Cheung Cau Bun Feastval, Tin Hau Festival Birthday of Tam Kung and Birthday of Buddha.

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