With the traditional music fluttering, the annual Hongsheng Palace Festival Three-person Lotus Boat Opening Competition was held in Gulang Village, Xingtan Town on March 13. With audience on both sides of the river, 43 lotus boats strived for the first, creating a lively atmosphere of traditional folk customs.
Walking into Gulang Village with the music, a whole row of roast suckling pig and boxes of local wine attracted lots of visitors. "These are the prizes for the Lotus Boat Competition", said Wu Yuze, an 80-year-old local villager, who was responsible for managing and distributing the prizes, "The Lotus Boat Competition is a grand event in our village, and 43 teams joined the competition this year. This competition has been around since I was just a child, and it attracts not only locals but also many visitors every year."
At about 2 p.m., with people gathering around the Gulang Lock, the Lotus Boat Competition officially started, and 43 lotus boats set off at the same time. After 2.5 circles around the river outside the lock, they successively passed through the sluice gate and entered the river in Gulang Village. The audience also rode motorcycles and drove cars along the river, following the boats into the village. Accompanied by the rousing and cheerful Cantonese traditional music "De Sheng Ling", one lotus boat after another drifted in the narrow and curved river, while the excited audience were cheering and applauding ceaselessly.
Unlike the five-person Dragon Boat race in Shunde countryside, the Lotus Boat has only 3 rowers. Deng Jiasheng, former director of the Xingtan Town Cultural Station, explained that in the past, people used this kind of bot to pick lotus roots, and therefore it has the name “Lotus Boat”. Lotus Boat is more flexible in the narrow and curved waterways, and therefore they are gradually used for competition with improvement to become faster and lighter. The Lotus Boat Competition is a feature event of Gulang Village, and notably not only locals but also people from other villages and towns can freely form teams to participate.
It is worth visiting Gulang Village not only for the lotus boat race, but also for the beautiful scenery on both sides of the river. Gulang Village has a beautiful natural environment and has been maintaining a primitive water-town scenery. In recent years, the village has vigorously improved the living environment. Combined with the government plan to revitalize the village, Gulang has gathered the joint forces to carefully create a water-town with shores landscape belt.
Reporter | Tang
Revisor | Eleanor, Jersey