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The dragon boat 'awakens': Tianhe Shipai Village in Guangzhou holds a 'dragon boat raising' ceremony
来源:羊城晚报 云上岭南 作者:符畅、钟振彬 发表时间:2024-06-02 22:13

The "Dragon boat raising" ceremony is one of the significant rituals in dragon boat activities. After being dormant for a year, the dragon boat lacks vitality even after the "awakening" ceremony. It needs to be "roused" to embrace this year's dragon boat activities in the best state. This is known as the "dragon boat raising" ceremony.

On the afternoon of June 1st, the annual "dragon boat raising" ceremony was held in Shipai Village, Tianhe District, Guangzhou.

The dragon boat awakens: festive and vibrant

At 2:00 p.m., the ceremony officially commenced. Villagers, carrying dragon heads, dragon tails, bronze gongs, umbrellas, and colorful flags, set off spiritedly towards the Shipai Xinyong River, the Pearl River New Town. Six dragon boats were already docked on the water.

The villagers install the dragon head and tail adorned with red silk balls onto the boat, symbolizing good fortune ahead. Drums are set up, and various colorful umbrellas, flags, and decorative banners are inserted into the dragon boat, instantly imbuing it with a spirited and majestic aura. Additionally, things representing abundant harvests and favorable weather, such as green seedlings, are placed at the bow and stern of the boat, expressing hopeful wishes for prosperity.

With the resounding beats of drums and the crackling of firecrackers, the once dormant dragon boats awakened. Following this, they set off towards the Pearl River Estuary to welcome two new dragon boats "back home." Before long, a total of eight dragon boats congregated on the waterway. The riverbanks were packed with people, creating a bustling atmosphere with the mingling sounds of firecrackers, drums, and cheering.

Mr. Pan, an overseas Chinese who returned by plane for the festival, expressed, "The lively scenes of the Dragon Boat Festival resonate more deeply in my heart than even the Spring Festival. Dragon boat culture has been ingrained in my DNA since childhood, and no other festival can draw us from all corners of the world like this. Whenever the dragon boat drums beat, I make sure to return to take part."

Three generations continues the inheritance

This year's "dragon boat raising" ceremony coincided with Children's Day on June 1st. The dragon boats were filled with children dressed in mini dragon boat attire. Accompanied by their elders, they enthusiastically participated in drumming, waving flags, and rowing, thoroughly enjoying themselves. Among these children, the youngest was only six years old. Amidst the splashes of water, they created a harmonious scene of passing down the dragon boat culture.

Knowing he could participate in paddling the dragon boat, little Chi Ruiyang eagerly tagged along with his father from the ancestral hall to the waterway, clutching his small wooden paddle. He couldn't wait to get on board, exclaiming, "When I grow up, I want to paddle the dragon boat too!"

It is reported that nearly 600 people participated in this year's "dragon boat paddling" activity. Among them were rowers with nearly 50 years of experience in dragon boating, as well as a younger generation deeply influenced by the local dragon boat culture, sharing a strong affection for it. Despite differences in age, their shared passion for dragon boat culture brought them together on this special day. Three generations of families gathered on a single boat, injecting new vitality into this traditional folk activity. Countless young generations found a sense of belonging, identity, and pride by attending this traditional cultural activity.

Source: Yangcheng Evening News

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文|记者 符畅
图|符畅 钟振彬