Dragon Boat Races and Other Asian Fun

Every 5th day of the 5th month of the lunar calendar, dragon boat races are held in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and other heavily populated Chinese areas. In D.C., it is usually held in late May on the Potomac.

Legend goes that Qu Yuan, poet and politician, lost the trust of the King of the Qin Dynasty and was exiled. The decision was made based on advice of corrupt officials. As protest, he decided to take his life in the river. Upon hearing the news, his friends and townspeople rushed to the river beating drums and throwing rice into the water hoping to distract any fish trying to feed on his body. The boat races held in present times are to reenact and commemorate Qu Yuan.

Probably not the best angle to capture such a photo, but these guys are serious. Getting heavy rubdowns pre and post race to work out those muscles.

In today’s races there is a drummer to keep rhythm for the paddlers and a steersman on the back end.

Coast Guard keeping an eye on things.

There were several races throughout the day, various heats leading to the finals. I only stayed for a handful, but all the boats marked as number 1 happened to come in first.

To continue with my Asian day o’ fun, I headed over to Pennsylvania Avenue for the Asian Street Festival to meet up with some friends. Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is celebrated in May for two reasons. One is the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants in 1843 and second is for the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869, built by many Chinese laborers. The facts and dates aren’t clear, but rumor has it that perhaps a Great-Great-Grandfather of mine was one of those workers.

Safe to say, Asians love chicken?

Dragon at rest.

An academy in Virginia based off or is a sister studio of the Shao Lin Monastery showed off their Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon tricks.

Random guy with balloon walking around when walking on our way to the street festival. We came full circle as we saw him again when leaving.

All tuckered out.

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