40th Annual Boston Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival
(Boston May 24th, 2019) Come help us celebrate the 40th Annual Boston Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival on Sunday, June 9th, 2019, from 12:00–5:00 PM rain or shine! The Boston Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival is the oldest dragon boat festival in North America, founded in 1979.
Located by John W. Weeks Foot Bridge on the Charles River between JFK Avenue and Western Avenue, this year’s festival will feature a record 76 teams, with over 1500 paddlers, from all over Massachusetts, New England the US and Canada, competing in ten categories designated with special races and medals for the Colleges including Financial Institutions, Corporate, Health Care, College, Chinese University Alumni, Women’s, Club, Community and Recreational and Cancer Survivors Divisions.
Spectators will be able to watch brightly colored, 39 foot, Hong Kong style dragon boats as they race on a 500-meter course up the Charles River from the Western Avenue Bridge to the Weeks Footbridge.
The Dragon Boat Races start in the early morning and the cultural programs and festival will begin at 12 Noon. All programs are free and family friendly for visitors. Sponsors, founders, dignitaries and committee members will dot the eyes of the dragon head on each boat in a traditional Eye-dotting Ceremony. This is an ancient Chinese ceremony that is believed to enable the dragon to soar with the utmost power. The Eye-dotting Ceremony will take place at Noon at the docks on Boston side with the accompaniment of a traditional Chinese waist drum dance that will progress over the John W. Weeks Footbridge to open the festival.
The Eye-dotting Ceremony will be followed by cultural programs, demonstrations and performances in the festival tent on the Cambridge side. There will be traditional Chinese music, Chinese Yoyo performance, Filipino, Chinese and Indian Dance performances, Korean Tae Kwon-Do presentation, as well as returning favorites such as Dragon and Lion Dances, Chinese martial arts and traditional Japanese Taiko drumming.
This year there is a special treat that cannot be missed. A special delegation from Longquan China, seven celadon masters with UNESCO intangible cultural heritage status, will demonstrate the making of this ancient ceramic art. This group has also donated a new Dragon Boat to our fleet.
We will bring to visitors interactive cultural demonstrations. Join in a Taiji demonstration on the banks of Charles by Storrow Drive, try your own lion dance with Gunkwok Lion Dance Troupe or give square-dancing a try.
Visitors young and old will find fun, inspiration and cultural engagement with beautiful hands-on Chinese arts and crafts. Come also to sample various Asian foods featuring Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese and more lining the side of Memorial Drive.
The Boston Dragon Boat Festival is sponsored in part by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, State Street, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Eastern Bank and South Cove Community Health Center, Greater Boston Chinese Culture Association, Cambridge Arts Council, Longquan China and Boston Dragon Boat Festival Committee.
Traditionally held on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month (late May to mid June on the solar calendar), the Dragon Boat Festival commemorates the life and death of Qu Yuan (340-278 BCE). A political leader of State of Chu, Qu Yuan is recognized as China’s first distinguished poet. Qu Yuan lost the king’s favor and was banished from his home state of Chu because of his opposition to the prevalent policy of compromise to the powerful state of Qin. In exile, he wrote the poem, “Encountering Sorrow,” which shows a great loyalty to his state and its people. In 278 BCE, Qu Yuan learned the news that Chu had been conquered by Qin. Heart broken, he drowned himself in the Mi Lo River. The people of Chu rushed to the river to rescue him. Too late to save Qu Yuan, they splashed furiously and threw zong-zi (traditional rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves) into the river as a sacrifice to his spirit and to keep the fish away from his body.
Today, Dragon Boat Festivals and races are popular around the world. The first Dragon Boat Festival in the United States was held in Boston in 1979, the first in North America. It is now the largest Asian cultural festival in New England. The Boston festival is used as a vehicle to promote Asian cultures and dragon boat racing, as well as to bring diverse communities together in Boston and the surrounding areas. Every year, around 30,000 people lined the banks of the Charles to enjoy the festivities and performances.
For PR and other festival inquiries please contact:
波士頓壹年壹度的香港龍舟賽將於六月九日（星期日）舉行, 時間中午十二時至下午五時。2019年 是波士頓龍舟節和龍舟賽的第四十週年。大波士頓地區、麻州、新英格蘭各州以及外州前來參賽的共有七十六個龍舟隊。屆時，七十六個隊的龍舟健兒們將在鑼鼓喧天聲中，劃著顏色鮮艷、船身輕盈的香港式龍舟， 在Weeks 步行橋和Western Ave大橋之間的查理斯河中激烈角逐。龍舟賽激烈的競爭將在以下十個分組之間展開：集團組、金融組、醫保組、大學組、中國大學校友組、社區組、俱樂部組、女子組，以及癌癥幸存者專賽。本年度龍舟賽及節慶由波士頓龍舟節組委會主辦，由以下公司和單位贊助：香港駐紐約經濟貿易辦事處、中國龍泉市、道富銀行、Harvard Pilgrim Health Care、Eastern Bank、華人醫務中心等。
為慶祝波士頓龍舟節四十周年，組委會特邀了波士頓龍舟節的三位創始人前來參加今年的龍舟節，並在開幕式上與觀眾見面。 另外前來參加開幕式的亦有州市以及中華人民共和國駐紐約總領館的各級官員， 並贊助商等。更為難得的是中國龍泉市作為本屆龍舟節的主要贊助者之壹，將派十三人的代表團前來參加今年的波士頓龍舟節四十年慶。