Dragon Boats Go Global
Travel Blog • Julia Ross • 06.01.09 | 10:31 AM ET
Though the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival has long enjoyed popularity in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, mainland China only made it a public holiday last year—one of many signs that traditions abandoned during the country’s Cultural Revolution are finally being restored.
The funny thing is, the festival—which commemorates the death of a famous poet who drowned himself in a river—has become so globalized that China itself looks like it’s late to the party.
Though the holiday officially fell last Thursday (May 28), cities around the world began hosting dragon boat races weeks ago and will continue to do so through the summer. Depending on where you live, the races can resemble everything from a beer-soaked beach party to a full-on athletic competition. Witness the rather relaxed approach practiced by Frankfurters this year versus the energetic and tightly choreographed races in Tokyo (below).
In the U.S., you can catch the following dragon boat festivals through September:
Boston: June 6-7
New York: August 8-9
Seattle: August 22-23
San Francisco: September 26-27