Dragon Boat Festival in Shunde 2013

China is celebrating its 2000-year old Dragon Boat festival on June 10-13. This year I wanted to get a closer look at a popular location for the boat races rather than revisit the cushy Macau version. (Enjoy a complete overview of Duan Wu Jie from my 2011 post) This time we visited Shun Feng Lake in Bruce Lee’s hometown – Shunde.

Shunde  (Shwun-duh) is home to one of the most well-known dragon boat competitions in Southern China. Check out the Chinese version of the Shun De Boat Club’s website for the latest information on this competition throughout the year (http://www.sdlongzhou.net/)  Every June teams from around Guangdong province get together at this lake to compete in a 500-meter sprint.  For a closer look, check out my pics from this year’s event below:


Although it was a little cloudy, that didn’t keep these smaller teams from competing in an event that has been around for over 20 centuries! [*]

BenwithBoatsAs you can see, the smaller-team boats are quite narrow which is also why we watched 4 boats flip over across 10 races that day!

BenwithOarAnd here’s one of their awesome looking oars. Here I am standing one of the 3 cement docks that teams used to get into the water. It’s operated much like a Crew race in the West.

4BoatFrontHere’s a view of one local team’s boat name and race number. “Da Liang” is a neighborhood of Shunde, a place which serves a delicious Shuang Pi Nai!

ChineseBoatAnd finally, some signage boats with lanterns. I think the sign is actually an advertisement for a rice company’s brand… Someone has to check that for me though…

We really had a great day in Shunde and I can’t wait to visit another city this way. Festivals, traditions, and other annual events are really amazing experiences no matter where you are. They give us our identity in a world that is increasingly getting mixed, either through popular culture or multi-racial marriages.  And that is why its even more important for us to step back and examine our roots, especially in a country like the US, Canada, or Briton. Be proud of your heritage and keep somewhat lost traditions alive.  St. Patrick’s Day is a very obvious Irish one that can be seen easily across the Boston area and I’m sure there are other ones that can be highlighted by younger generations.

And that reminds me of German Oktoberfest, since my Grandmother is German. Looking forward to Fall already! What do people from your heritage celebrate? Please share with us below.