Dragon Boat Festival at the Greater Triangle Area
Hosted by Asian Focus and Pan Am
Join us at the Triangle’s fourth annual Dragon Boat Festival at Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheater on September 23. In addition to a full slate of dragon boat races, this celebration of Asian culture includes dozens of live stage performances, games for kids, food vendors, cultural and health information booths, and more. Organized by Asian Focus with races by Pan Am, the festival offers hours of family fun in a beautiful setting while learning about the Triangle’s growing Asian community.
9am to 4:30pm
AGES 13 & OLDER: $5 advance, $8 on the day of the event
SENIORS: $4 advance, $7 on the day of event
Children 12 and under: Free
Lawn Chairs (any height), blankets, strollers, bags, rain coats & ponchos, cameras
Coolers, food and beverage, pets, weapons,
WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE DRAGON BOAT RACING?
Are you interested in participating in a race on a real dragon boat? With a team of 20 paddlers, you can and no experience is necessary. To register, please visit our Dragon Boat Festival website at: http://dragonboatnc.wix.com/festival
ABOUT DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL
The festival started over 2,300 years ago in southern Mainland China during the Zhou Dynasty. Although there are countless stories about the origin of this holiday, the most popular legend, by far, is that of Qu Yuan – a Confucian sage revered in China for his great works in poetry.
The story starts with Qu Yuan attempting to drown himself in the Miluo River. The villagers carried their dumplings and boats to the middle of the river and desperately tried to save Qu Yuan, but they were too late to do so. However, in order to keep fish and evil spirits away from his body, they beat drums and splashed the water with their paddles, and they also threw rice into the water both as a food offering to Qu Yuan’s spirit and also to distract the fish away from his body. However, the legend continues, that late one night, the spirit of Qu Yuan appeared before his friends and told them that he died because he had taken himself under the river. Then, he asked his friends to wrap their rice into three-cornered silk packages to ward off the dragon.
These packages became a traditional food known as zongzi, although the lumps of rice are now wrapped in leaves instead of silk. The act of racing to search for his body in boats gradually became the cultural tradition of dragon boat racing, held on the anniversary of his death every year. Today, people still eat zongzi and participate in dragon boat races to commemorate Qu Yuan’s sacrifice.