River of Lizhiwan dragon boat parade is held on the Dragonboat Festival (also named Duanwu Festival) annually, the history of this event can be traced back to 16th century. This lively and colorful tradition has continued unbroken for centuries to the present day. It is also one of the most important events to the local people of Guangzhou China.
On 9 Am, June 8th, crowds of local people already gathered along the river of Lizhiwan, firecracker is burning, people beating the gongs and drums to welcome the well painted and decorated dragon boat from other villages, some of the boats come from other city far from here, they had to boat for many hours in the duration of the event every year,. Some boats are quite old, the eldest dragon boat is more than 700 years old, which other boats respect it as "grandpa boat".
These boats are all the very traditional ones, they are quite different from the racing dragon boat in other places. Made from very heavy and rare woods, which ensure it can be boated centuries of years. Boats are much longer, from 40 to 100 feet in length, their heads are shaped like open-mouthed dragons, while the sterns end with a scaly tail. Depending on the length, up to 80 rowers can power the boat. A drummer and flag-catcher stand at the front of the boat.
Before racing, the boatmen presented roast pigs and rice wine to each other, expressing their greetings to each others, praying for a prosperous coming days.
This year, China are going to hold the Olympic games, the flags of Olympic games fluttered on many boats, people are praying for a successful Olympic games.
Older people says, Dragon boat parade is a great event for the local people to honor their ancestor as well as their former neighbours who has dispensed to other villages.
Photo credits: Wayne Zhou, Norman Chan, Jeffery Koh, Yongkai.