44th Annual Boston Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival
Press Release: 44th Annual Boston Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival
(Boston May 20th , 2023) Come celebrate with us the 44th Annual Boston Hong Kong Dragon
Boat Festival on Sunday, June 11th, 2023, 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 Footbridge on the Charles River, between JFK Street and Western
Avenue, this year’s festival will feature 64 teams, with over 1500 paddlers from all over
Massachusetts, New England, the US, and the world. They will compete in ten category groups
with special races and medals for Collegiate, Finance, Corporate, Health Care, Chinese
University Alumni, Women, Club, Community, Youth, and All Cancer Survivor divisions.
Spectators will be able to watch brightly colored, 40 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 John
W. 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 community 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 with the accompaniment of a traditional Chinese waist drum dance on the
stage inside the large performance tent.
The Eye-dotting Ceremony will be followed by cultural programs, demonstrations and
performances in the performance, arts & crafts tents on the Cambridge side grassy areas along the river as well as our major sponsors’ promotional tents. There will be traditional Chinese
music, Chinese Yo-yo performance, Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese and Indian Dance
performances, and returning favorites such as Dragon and Lion Dances, Chinese martial arts
and traditional Japanese Taiko drumming. Visitors young and old will find fun, inspiration and
cultural engagement with beautiful hands-on Asian arts and crafts. Come also to sample various
Asian foods featuring Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai and more lining the side of Memorial Drive.
This year there is a special celebration that cannot be missed. A special delegation from
Hangzhou, China, will bring displays, demonstrations, and beautiful cultural artifacts from
China’s most beautiful city. What’s more, Hangzhou, Boston’s sister city in China, is donating a
new dragon boat to the festival. Beginning in 1981, this year marks the 42nd year of the two
sister cities’ relationship.
The festival committee is adding three new Hong Kong style dragon boats to our fleet. Besides
the boat donated by Hangzhou, two new boats are donated to the festival by Hong Kong
Economic and Trade Office in New York and Trapology Boston.
The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York returns as the title sponsor for the
Boston Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival. The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office has been
our major sponsor for thirty years which included the purchase of the first six dragon boats in
our fleet. Make sure to visit the Hong Kong Economic Trade Office booth at the festival for
souvenirs and activities, which is the most popular over the years.
The Boston Dragon Boat Festival is sponsored by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office,
City of Hangzhou, Trapology Boston, Bain Capital, CVS, Eastern Bank, Foxwoods Resort and
Casino, Gentle Giants, and South Cove Community Health Center, State Street, Mass Culture
Council, Blue Cross & Blue Shields, Magic Brush, Salesforce and Boston Dragon Boat Festival
Committee. We partner with Greater Boston Chinese Culture Association, Cambridge Arts
Council, Lexington High School as well as Mass Department of Conservation and Recreation.
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. Just 10 years ago Boston had 22 community
teams now we have 54 community teams. Competitive club teams in Boston that race
worldwide jumped from 4 to 15. These are some of the examples demonstrating the drastic
growth of dragon boat racing as a sport nationwide and worldwide.
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, other festival inquiries and media parking, please contact:
壹年壹度的波士頓香港龍舟賽將於六月十一日（星期日）舉行, 時間中午十二時至下午五時。2023年 是波士頓龍舟節和龍舟賽的第四 十四週年。今年大波士頓地區、麻州、新英格蘭和全美各地前來參賽的共有六十四個龍舟隊。屆時，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、大學校友組、社區組、俱樂部組、女子組，青少年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、中國杭州市、道富銀行、華人醫務中心、麻州藝術委員會, 神筆、CVS Health, Eastern Bank, Trapology Boston, Bain Capital, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Foxwoods, Salesforce, Gentle Giants 等。組委會有以下協辦單位：大波士頓中國文化協會、劍橋市藝術委員會、萊 克星頓高中、麻州環保休閑部。
香港驻纽约经贸会是波士顿香港龙舟节的冠名赞助方，三十多年来，一直是我们最坚定最持久的支持者。2003年，香港经贸会赠给了 波士顿龙舟节第一批六艘龙舟，二十年后，我们已经拥有了15艘龙舟！今年香港经贸会出资为波士顿龙舟节购买新龙舟一艘，以保证 船只的更新，让龙舟健儿们划着新龙舟创出新成绩！香港经贸会的帐篷和展台历年来是最受观众欢迎的，很期待今年的礼品，一定会 有惊喜。
今年龍舟節的文藝演出很豐富， 亞洲各國表演包括越南、泰國、印度、韓國和中國傳統舞蹈，以及傳統中國舞龍舞獅和日式大鼓表演 等。
大波士頓太極拳社和武安武術隊將帶來互動演示，請觀衆學習並參與太極和舞獅。除了曆年最受歡迎的大波士頓文協傳統手工製 作之外，龍舟節組委會還會給大家帶來各種亞洲遊戲與手工，並分髮免費小冊子，供遊人帶回家學習製作， 今年衆多亞洲美食攤位擺 賣將為大家帶來各式亞洲美食，敬請光臨。
每年農歷五月初五（陽歷五月下旬至6月中旬）的端午節是為了紀念中國古代詩人愛國人士屈原（340-278 BCE）。作為楚國的政治 領袖，屈原被認為是中國第壹家傑出的詩人。屈原失去了國王的青睞並且被被驅逐出他的家鄉楚國，是因為他反對向強大的秦國妥協。在流亡期間，他寫的詩「離騷」顯示屈原對故國和人民的極大忠誠。公元前278，屈原聽聞楚國已經被入侵。在絕望中他在汨羅江 自盡。等楚國人趕到河裏去救他已經來不及了，他們便裏粽子投向江水以紀念屈原愛國的精神，同時也希望吃了粽子的魚兒們能夠讓 屈原安息。
如今端午節龍舟賽已經成為世界上的壹項熱門運動和節慶，而北美的第壹箇龍舟節就是在1979年時始創於波士頓，迄今四十四周年，近年來每年有三萬人前來參加。 這個慶祝活動向美國和世界人民介紹端午節龍舟賽，為推廣中國的以及亞洲的文化，發揮了巨大的作 用。在大家的參與和支持下，波士頓龍舟節會越辦越好。
網址：www.bostondragonboat.org 國粵英語電話：(617) 259-0286 電子郵箱：email@example.com;