- Posted June 17, 2010 by
Hong Kong, China
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Pandora Dragons Invade Hong Kong
June 16, 2010
by P H Yang Photography (phyang.org)
Click here for more images.
The occasional shower did not dampen the spirit of Duan Wu (aka Tuen Ng or Dragon Boat) Festival celebration in Hong Kong.
Tens of thousands of revelers attended dragon boat races across the city. Over 30,000 descended on Stanley where the largest international race was held. Races were also held in Sha Tin, Tai Po, Sai Kung and Discovery Bay.
As contestants dressed in Na'vi (from the planet Pandora in the blockbuster movie Avatar) constumes landed on the beach, they whipped their fans into a frenzy, and won the award for best costume hands-down. Many took the festival as a fancy dress party and dressed up as the Flinstones, sharks, angels, etc. Neon-colored hair-do, fancy head-gear and colorful umbrellas abound.
The annual festival mourns the death of the patriotic poet Qu Yuan, who drowned himself to protest against political corruption during the Warring States period (c 475-221 BC).
Supporters took their dumplings and boats to the river and desperately tried to save him. To keep fish and evil spirits away from his body, they beat drums, splashed the water with their paddles and threw rice dumplings into the water.
Contestants came from across the globe including Liechtenstein, Dubai, and Mexico. Dragon Boat racing is now held all over the world. It is a great opportunity to create awareness and honor the poet Qu Yuan's protest on political corruption (with contemporary relevance).