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Dragon Boat Race
Date:2013-05-31 16:47:40 Fonts:[ Large Medium Small ]

Each township of Wenzhou has its own dragon boats and a temple to worship the Incense God who is believed to be in charge of the dragon boat race. To make a new dragon boat for the Duanwu Festival (Dragon Boat Festival), a drum beating ceremony is performed at a temple hall on the first day of the fourth lunar month and then sacrifice is offered to the Incense God. Customarily, the dragon boat race begins on the first day of the fifth lunar month after the above ceremonies are performed. After the race ends, the boat is put upside down, and will not be turned back and carried to the temple for storage until the next day, when sacrifice is offered to the Incense God once more.

Where the dragon boat race is held, groups and individuals will set up incense burning tables and set off firecrackers to welcome the competing boats, treat the rowers to dinner after races and pay for the related expense. Some boats may have colorful dragon scales in a small size drawn on its body with a movable dragon head and tail installed respectively at its bow and stern, while on the other boats, the scales in larger shapes may be sparsely painted with no decorations mounted at its both ends. Each township’s dragon boat adopts a flag in the same color and different dragon boats from one township may be distinguished with varied flag colors. For example, in ancient times, blue flags were employed by some dragon boats from the area along the Nantang River in the southern suburbs of Wenzhou City as the color is considered pure and standard.

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