Hong Kong To Host 2012 International Dragon Boat Festival

Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbor will soon play host to an exciting and colorful event unlike any other. Starting on July 4 and running through July 8, the iconic Asian city will welcome more than 200 teams from around the globe as they get set to compete in the 36th annual International Dragon Boat Festival.

More than 6000 competitors from as far away as Germany, France, Canada and the U.S. are expected to be on hand for the event. These athletes will take to their ornate boats, each adorned with the traditional Chinese dragon head, and race one another across the historic harbor with the dramatic Hong Kong skyline serving as a backdrop. Keeping time with their drummer, these dedicated and talented crews will go head to head as they vie for the 2012 Dragon Boat Championship.

For more than 2000 years the dragon boat has been a part of Chinese culture, tracing its origin back to the Pearl River Delta region, of which Hong Kong is a part. Traditionally carved out of teak wood, these aquatic works of art come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Historians believe that they were used in races almost from the time they were first built, which adds yet another layer of history and tradition to this event.

With Hong Kong as its host city, the International Dragon Boat Festival promises to be a wonderful mix of culture, history and athletic competition. While the crews battle it out on Victoria Harbor, the crowds cheering them on from the East Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront will have access to an array of the city’s famous food and drinks. Additionally, the San Miguel Beerfest is conveniently being held at the same time and a steady line-up of live music will only add to the raucous atmosphere.

Does anyone know how to paddle? I think we need a Gadling boat in this race!

[Photo credit: Atmhk via WikiMedia]