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Intangible Cultural Heritage Promotional Videos ProjectThe Intangible Cultural Heritage Office and the Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong co-organised the “Hong Kong Intangible Cultural Heritage Promotional Videos Project” in 2019. Through this project, students have produced 7 sets 360-degree virtual reality videos and documentaries for introducing local intangible cultural heritage (ICH) items. Under the guidance of instructors, students seized the opportunity to have close contact with local ICH items, interact directly with ICH bearers, as well as conduct video recordings of the activities by themselves, whereby deepening their understanding of each of the ICH items. Let’s enjoy their works together! Tai O Dragon Boat Water Parade During the annual Dragon Boat Festival, three fishermen's associations in Tai O, namely Pa Teng Hong, Sin Yu Hong and Hap Sim Tong, organise a religious activity known as the dragon boat water parade. On the morning of the day before the festival, members of the associations row their dragon boats to visit four temples in Tai O, where they receive statues of the folk deities Yeung Hou, Tin Hau, Kwan Tei and Hung Shing. They carry the deity statues back to their associations’ hall for worship. On the day of the festival, the deity statues are put on sacred sampans towed by the associations’ dragon boats to parade through Tai O’s waters. After the ritual, the deity statues are returned to the respective temples in the afternoon. This unique religious activity has been inherited for more than a century. Tai O dragon boat water parade was inscribed onto the third national list of ICH in 2011. For more about Tai O Dragon Boat Water Parade, please visit the website of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Office.
Dragon boat racing is a time-honoured custom in China, and is believed to have the efficacy of warding off epidemics and evils. The Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra (HKCO) has commissioned a new work "Dragon Boat" composed by local composer Ng King-pan and performed by musicians of the Orchestra. A music video of the same title has also been created by a local production crew led by young director Cheung Kit Bong. May everyone enjoy a happy, safe and healthy holiday through the near-virtual sights and sounds of dragon boat races! Special thanks: HKCO
Do you remember? At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the dragon boat was one of the transportations for the Olympic torch relay in Hong Kong, adding a refreshing and regional touch to the event. Origin and developmentThere are numerous versions about the origin of the dragon boat. The most widely adopted version is: it started from 278 BC, during a period known as the Warring States in Chinese history, to commemorate the patriotic poet Qu Yuan. Since then the dragon boat races have been held every year on the fifth day of the fifth month of the lunar calendar. Despite being a festive activity for the Tuen Ng Festival, the dragon boat race was not considered as a sport activity until 1976. In that year the former Hong Kong Tourist Association held the first International Dragon Boat Invitational Competition at Shau Kei Wan Typhoon Shelter. It brought international recognitions to the dragon boat race which eventually became a sports competition. As the dragon boat sport gained popularity around the globe, the International Dragon Boat Federation was formed in 1991 during the Hong Kong International Races. The Asian Dragon Boat Federation was formed in Beijing in the following year. The Hong Kong China Dragon Boat Association (HKCDBA) and other local groups are dedicated to organising and promoting dragon boat activities in Hong Kong. Team workThe dragon boat sport requires team work. The drummer, paddlers and steersman have to cooperate to attain speed. • Drummer and paddlerStationing on the bow, a drummer is responsible for conducting the tempo of the paddlers. An excellent drummer can help the paddler crew push the envelope. When two boats are getting close or their drumbeats overlap, the drummer has to blow a whistle so that the paddlers at the back of the boat can get the signal to keep up with the tempo. There are three to five ways of drum beating. Different beating sounds represent different ways and speed of paddling. The crew have to paddle in accordance with the drum beats. The more uniformly the crew paddles, the faster the boat will go. • SteersmanA steersman is responsible for keeping the boat to move in a straight course. A skilful steersman can help the boat accelerate by reducing drag when he minimises the contact between the boat and the water surface. The steersman needs to keep the flat part of the rudder beneath the water during the whole course of the race, and is not allowed to make any move that would induce thrust. In general, persons having reached the age of 12 and with the ability of swimming 50 metres are eligible to join this sport. If you are interested in taking training courses on the dragon boat sport, please contact the HKCDBA at 3618 7510 or visit their website. You may also look for training classes provided by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.