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Hong Kong’s Dragon Boat Festival

February 13, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

This article was written by Phineas Upham.

The Dragon Boat Festival originated as a celebration of a respected poet in medieval China. Qu Yuan, a famous minister and poet, was banished when his king allied with an opposing faction. The poet was banished, and committed suicide in the river Miluo out of grief for his state. It is said that those who loved him attempted to race out into the lake to save him, or to at least retrieve his body. Such is the origin of a festival that continues in Hong Kong today.

Each year, boats come to Victoria Harbor for a race that is viewed by thousands of spectators lining the coast line. This year’s festival will be held in June of 2014. Dancers, entertainers and master brewers all keep the crowd excited. Intense racing action on the waters is complimented by drummers beating a melody as racers jock for position. The three components to the festival are all geared toward enjoying the spectacle. Prior to the event, much preparation time is spent making zongzi rice dumplings.

Though its origins as a public holiday can be traced back to 2005, dragon boat races are held all over the world in places like San Francisco. Today’s version is far removed from its origins, but the Dragon Boat Carnival is one of Hong Kong’s most exciting events to witness.


About the Author: Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phineas Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media & Technology group. You may contact Phineas on his Twitter page.

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