Waterfront Park seemed quieter during the Dragonboat Festival yesterday (June 18) than in previous years, but the happy faces showed people were having just as much fun.
Children shrieked, dogs romped, a lot of beer was quaffed, traditional rice dumplings were chomped. Colourful boating costumes were shown off by young men and women. Kisses were exchanged — unusual in conservative Hong Kong. Business was good.
The Tuen Ng Festival is held on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month as it has been for two millennia. Legend has it that in 278BC the scholar-statesman Chu Yuan drowned himself protesting against the Emperor. He was a popular patriot and people launched boats to search for him. The annual festival is now marked by paddling long boats, eating dumplings, swimming and drinking beer.