43rd Annual Boston Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival
Press Release: 43rd Annual Boston Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival
(Boston May 24th, 2022) Come help us celebrate the 43rd Annual Boston Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival on Sunday, June 12th, 2022, 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. After a two year hiatus, the festival returns in 2022 for our community.
Located by John W. Weeks Foot Bridge on the Charles River between JFK Avenue and Western Avenue, this year’s festival will feature 48 teams, with about 1000 paddlers, from all over Massachusetts, New England, the US and Canada. They will be competing, on the Charles River, for the overall top spot and in specialty race categories featuring Collegiate, Financial Institutions, Corporate, Health Care, Alumni, Women’s, Club, Community and Recreational and Cancer Survivors 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 Weeks Footbridge.
The Dragon Boat Races start on Saturday June11th and continue in the early morning and throughout the day of June 12th. The cultural programs and festival will begin at 12 Noon on June 12th. All programs are outdoors, 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 the 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 tents on the Cambridge side. There will be traditional Chinese music, Chinese Yoyo performance, Chinese, Korean, Indian and Thai Dance performances, Sichuan Opera “Biann Lian”, Korean Tae Kwon-Do presentation, as well as returning favorites such as Dragon and Lion Dances, Chinese martial arts and traditional Japanese Taiko drumming.
We will bring to visitors interactive cultural demonstrations. Join in a Taiji demonstration on the banks of Charles by Storrow Drive or try your own lion dance with Gunkwok Lion Dance Troupe.
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 regional foods such as Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese and more lining the side of Memorial Drive.
The naming sponsor of the Boston Dragon Boat Festival is the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York. This year is special because Hong Kong is commemorating the 25th anniversary of the handover in 1997 of Hong Kong to China from the control of the UK. Hong Kong Economic Trade Office has been our major sponsor for many years which included the purchase of the first six Dragon Boats in our fleet. Make sure to visit the Hong Kong Economic Trade Office display at the festival for souvenirs and activities.
We acknowledge our many sponsors and partners in this exciting event, CVS Health, Eastern Bank, State Street, Trapology Boston, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Harvard Pilgrim, Flyhomes, Foxwoods, Salesforce, Brush Magic, South Cove Community Health Center, Gentle Giant. Thanks to their support and the hard work of the volunteer Boston Dragon Boat Festival Committee and Board that this event is possible.
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 the 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. In 2019, more than 30,000 people lined the banks of the Charles to enjoy the festivities and performances.
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壹年壹度的波士頓香港龍舟賽將於六月十二日（星期日）舉行, 時間中午十二時至下午五時。2022年 是波士頓龍舟節和龍舟賽的第四十三週年。因為新冠疫情，龍舟節2020年取消活動，2021年通過影視與觀眾線上見面，2022年年初龍舟節組委會決定恢復實時比賽和文化活動。今年大波士頓地區、麻州、新英格蘭各州以及加拿大前來參賽的共有四十八個龍舟隊。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，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、道富銀行、華人醫務中心、神笔、Harvard Pilgrim, CVS Health, Eastern Bank, Trapology Boston, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Flyhomes, Foxwoods, Salesforce, Gentle Giants等。