Elements of Intangible Cultural Heritage

    Dragon Boat Racing






    Introduction:

    Dragon Boat Racing is one of the traditional customs of the Tung Ng (Dragon Boat Festival). The tradition of dragon boat racing in Macao has a long-standing history. This activity gradually developed into an aquatic sports competition event, involving rituals, such as the launching ceremony, dragon boat cleaning and the eye dotting on the dragon head of each boat. Early dragon boat races used to be organized by civic groups and was not held regularly every year. After 1979, sports associations started to organize the races with the support of local commercial organizations. At present, dragon boat racing adopted the scale of an international sport event that is held every year, integrating traditional characteristics and counting with the participation of teams from various countries.

     

    Conservation Status:

    Dragon Boat Racing is jointly organized by Macao public services and local sports associations, on an annual basis, noting that the scale and social impact of this event has been increasing. In recent years, Dragon Boat Racing expanded its scale, nowadays being a three-day event that is held in a very lively atmosphere, with the participation of teams representing local companies and associations on the first two days, while the third day of the event is reserved for for international competition races.

     

    Heritage Value:

    Dragon Boat Racing is a traditional event that has a relatively large scale and social impact, also serving as a good example about the transmission and continuity of the traditional Chinese culture in Macao. This is an event that is also important for the strengthening of the cultural ties of the Chinese community of Macao, also being an element that represents well the local cultural diversity. Alongside the expansion of this event worldwide, Dragon Boat Racing also enables to strengthen the connection between the Chinese communities living overseas, thereby also playing a crucial role in promoting and carrying forward Chinese culture on a broader level.


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