It’s that time of the year again: when the ‘dragons’ are unleashed upon rivers throughout the Pearl River Delta, Guangdong and China at large. Below, we’ve selected some of the best-known and adrenaline-pumping races to watch in our fair province.
June 11: Guangzhou International Dragon Boat Racing Tournament
This year’s tournament will be held in the section of Pearl River between the North Gate of Sun Yat-sen University and Guangzhou Bridge. There will be traditional dragon boats and standard dragon boats competing, as well as a variety of colorful parades. Last year, the Pearl River saw a total of 126 dragon boat teams and about 5,000 athletes. Teams from around the globe will join in the fun – including teams from the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Singapore and Iran – competing against each other while also battling local teams from Guangdong. Come cheer for your 'home' team (the Guangzhou Dragons) and see for yourself why dragon boat racing has grown so popular worldwide!
Jun 11, 8am. North Gate of Sun Yat-sen University.
May 24–June 8: Chebei Races
The dragon boat races and ceremonies held in Chebei village, of Tianhe District, are the most traditional in the city of Guangzhou, dating back 150 years. Chebei boasts 46 traditional dragon boats, which, over a period of 16 days, will race along the Chebei canal, while over 200 boats from other villages will visit the canal to celebrate the centuries-old festival. Last year, the festivities in Chebei attracted an estimated 100,000 visitors.
May 24–Jun 8. Chebei canal (Catch the best views at the Chebei Park).
May 30: Liede Dragon Boat Festivity
Leide village hosts one of Guangzhou’s largest festivities, happening at the Liede canal on May 30. This is a must-attend event for anyone in the Zhujiang area.
May 30. Leide canal (along Leide Lu by Exit B of Leide Metro Station).
May 28-31: Liwan Races and Festivity
This year’s celebration at Liwan Lake Park will be “richer and with more highlights compared to last year’s.” Expect to to see dragon boat parades, rituals and exhibitions, among other jamborees.
May 28-31, 9am. Liwan Lake Park.
Jun 17-18: Huizhou International Dragon Boat Tournament
The China Dragon Boat Competition, also known as the Huizhou International Dragon Boat Tournament, is to take place at Binjiang Park in Huizhou from June 17 to 18. The lake at Binjiang Park will see 80 teams, domestic and international, and over 2,000 athletes from the US, the UK, France, Switzerland and the Philippines, to name just a few.
Jun 17-18, 8.30am. Binjiang Park.
May 30–June 2: Diejiao Dragon Boat Drifting Race
There will be four races going on during the Diejiao Dragon Boat Drifting Race at Dongsheng village of Foshan, well-known for its winding waterway. It’s truly a spectacle to behold when the 25-meter-long boats snake along the narrow canal.
May 30–Jun 2. Dongsheng village, Nanhai District, Foshan.
May 30: Stanley International Dragon Boat Championships 2017
The Stanley International Dragon Boat Championships is one of the largest and most prominent dragon boat races in the world, with some 200 local and international teams participating in the action-packed high caliber races which attract a crowd of over 30,000 spectators.
May 30, 8am. Stanley Main Beach.
June 2-4: Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Races
Coinciding with the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival, the Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Races is taking place against a backdrop of a world-class skyline at the Victoria Harbour. Join the Hongkongers and make a party out of an ancient Chinese festival where you can enjoy watching the world’s best dragon boat athletes battle it out. In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong SAR, a stage will be set with live music, beer booths and a food truck to keep you entertained.
Jun 2-4, 12.30pm. Central Harbourfront.
May 27, 28, 30: Macao International Dragon Boat Races
This year’s Macao International Dragon Boat Races will see teams from Hong Kong, Japan, the U.S., the Philippines, China, Thailand, Singapore, Korea and Australia compete. The Macao races have been promoting the modality of dragon boating and have grown to become a grand-scale sporting event attracting athletes from around the world. The first two days will see local teams compete in the 200 and 500-meter races, while international teams will compete on the third and final day.
May 27, 28, 30, 9am. Nam Van Lake Nautical Center.
READ MORE: The Story Behind Dragon Boat Festival
READ MORE: Making and Racing Dragon Boats in the PRD