With the annual Dragon Boat Festival approaching, the 591-year-old Yanbu dragon boat was awakened from river on June 2 after "sleeping" for a year. The ceremony, held in Dali Town, Nanhai, Foshan, started with a congratulatory message read by Shao Juxi, the provincial inheritor of Yanbu's dragon boat custom.
In terms of the traditional ritual, it mainly consisted of three major steps--worshipping the dragon boat, boat lifting and boat cleaning, conducted by villagers of Yanbu. The event will last for a whole month until the Dragon Boat Festival comes to an end, and the dragon boat will be hidden back again in the water.
By now, the dragon boat lifting ceremony has become one of the grandest cultural rituals for local people. The 591-year-old dragon boat witnessed the pastoral life and the spirit of mutual help of people in the Pearl River Delta for centuries.
The dragon boat of Yanbu, with a total length of 36.8 meters and made of Pontianak wood, can be traced back to the Ming Dynasty (1432), which is the oldest existing dragon boat in China. Due to its long history and uniqueness, the dragon boat lifting ritual of Yanbu was listed in the fourth batch of Intangible Cultural Heritage Projects in Guangdong Province in 2012, and was selected as one of the projects of "Sports Intangible Cultural Heritage in China" in 2013.
Reporter | Christy
Revisor | Eleanor, Linn
Photo | Yang Wenxuan