Awakening the Spirit of the Dragon

Each year, festival honours the ancient Chinese tradition of dragon boat racing with an Eye Dotting and Dragon Blessing Ceremony. 
Dragon Boat Logo

Dragon Boat Logo

An altar is set-up on the dock for a Taoist Priest to perform the ceremony.  The dragon boats are dressed with ornate dragon head and tails.  The boats are all lined up for blessing.  Invoking the Goddess of the Sea, the Saints and the Immortals through chanting and burning joss sticks cleanses the race course, competitors and boats.  This will charge them with the strength of the Dragon. 
The priests make offerings to the five elements and directions:
  • East – joss sticks representing wood
  • West – flowers representing metal
  • South – candles representing fire
  • North – water representing its elemental self
  • Centre – fruit representing the earth
 Eye dotting ritual is the climax of the ceremony which officially awakens the Dragon. Ancient Chinese dragon mythology has it that the Dragon sleeps in the mountains and travels to the water when it is awakened. 
And the race is on….. the 25th Annual Dragon Boat Festival.

25 years ago, I did join the race.  The name of our team was “Wet, Wild and Weary”.  I kept the T-shirt for memorabilia.  Did we win the race?  In our minds, we are the winner.  Joining the race is already a sign of winning: a sign of courage that we can do it.  And we did.

28 thoughts on “Awakening the Spirit of the Dragon

  1. Pingback: Scholars: oldest Chinese dragon found | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. A friend of mine is now in her second year of the race via her job. We would go see it (I think this year’s is coming up this week-end), but the whole thing has a long stretch from one end to the other. I cannot walk that much any more. But I do watch the TV reports and newspaper articles, and then the photos my friend took. It looks like so much fun. She also says it is comical to be in her boat compared to some other who seem professional, but fun takes precedence!

    Great post, P! Thanks. 🙂

    • It is so much fun. It feels like that the boat is flying above the water as we listen to the beat of the drums. Fast drums, the faster we rowed. Pure high. It’s great, Tk. Can’t do it anymore. 😛

      • Yes, it does sound like fun, I admit. My friend was the drummer last year, and though it seemed quite the challenge, it also sounded like she enjoyed it!

        There’s something else we can add to our list of “I did it, but can’t do it anymnore”. 🙂

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