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The Dragon Boat Racing at the Xixi Wetlands
Published:2014-07-14 11:40:39

The Dragon Boat Racing at the Xixi Wetlands
By MORE magazine

With Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman’s Rubber Duck Exhibit

Spend enough time in China and you’ll no doubt experience all kinds of Chinese cuisine, meet all kinds of people, and see all sorts of amazing sites, but every year the Dragon Boat Festival comes and goes and what did you do to celebrate it? Eat zongzi? Yeah, they are super yummy, but honestly you can get those anytime. How often do you get the opportunity to get behind the oar of a dragon-shaped boat and compete for pride and glory?

From May 30th to July 15th, the Xixi Wetland National Park is celebrating the Dragon Boat Festival celebration. Not only was there local Jiang Village and international dragon boat races but visitors can also experience Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman's Rubber Duck exhibit at the wetlands.

Dragon Boat Racing 
During this traditional festival, the residents of Jiang Village will host dragon boat races to promote folk culture. 170 boats joined the Jiang Village dragon boat race, because of the natural conditions, the race is not really about speed. In fact, it is a highly skilled ornamental show.

Prior to the race, there was some traditional cultural performance at Shen Tan Kou, including singing, and “Aquatic Wedding” performance, and different folk shows integrating local customs, and also the interpretation of the simple yet warm scenes of life in the Xixi Wetlands.

But the most exciting event of the whole celebration had to be the international dragon boat race. After 6 years, MORE Magazine invited local expats to join the 7th Annual Dragon Boat Race on June 2nd and the results were a resounding success. Over the years this event has gradually transformed from a local celebration into a marquee event for the area, unlike any other in the country. Unlike in previous years, this year's Dragon Boat Races put more emphasis on entertainment, and family friendly fun. Every team had parents participating with their children. Through this event, dragon boat culture is spread to the whole world. Through a shared spirit of unity, cooperation, and hard-work, the tradition of the dragon boat is passed from generation to generation.

On June 2nd, the International Dragon Boat Race took place at Shen Tan Kou with more than 80% of participants coming from overseas, this race was the most international drag boat race ever. Coming from more than 20 different countries, citizens from the U.S., U.K., France, Italy, Germany, Russia, Mexico, and Columbia gathered at the Xixi Wetlands to compete. There were ten teams from the Wyndham Hotel, Air Liquid, MORE Magazine, Double Style, the Mexican Culture Exchange, Zhejiang University, Power Play, Adtime, Jiangnan Rowing, and Ouyi Electronic. The race took place at a 1200m stretch of waterway in the Xixi Wetlands running from Qianjinyang (千金漾) to Shentankou (深潭口). Races adhered to international standards in collaboration with the China Dragon Boat Association’s latest “Dragon Boat Racing Rules.” Jiangnan Rowing won the championship and Air Liquid was the runner-up. The awards ceremony was held on the Ancient Stage at Shentankou. The audience loved the experience that combined the essence and style of the contestants with traditional Chinese culture.

The Dragon Boat Racing is over for now, but that doesn't mean you can't row the dragon boat again. From May to October, the launch of the "Xixi Dragon Boat Package" is sure to make the event even more popular. Through this package visitors can experience dragon boat rowing at Shentankou and Qianjinyang. Each dragon boat holds 6-10 people. You need to have a group to register. Visitors can select the half day dragon boat cruise experience for 2,880RMB or a half day dragon boat cruise experience and half day Xixi combination for 3,980RMB. Please contact the staff at the Xixi Wetlands for reservations and further information.

Rubber Duck Exhibition 
Besides the dragon boat races, people can also see the famous Xixi Wetland rubber duck from May 30th to July 15th. The Xixi Wetlands unique ecology and commitment to environmental protection and public service made it the perfect place for Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman’s Rubber Duck exhibit. It’s the first stop of its 2014 China Tour, and since it showed up on May 30th, the rubber duck has attracted a lot of visitors.

During this time, WABC will also hold, “Looking for Van Gogh in Hangzhou.” Every week, 20 disabled students are invited to the Rubber Duck exhibit, in the hopes of shedding a positive light on children with intellectual disabilities, and to recognize their value and talent, so that more children who may not have a chance to show off their skills now have an opportunity.

There will also be all sorts of entertainment and games for kids, so bring your children and spend a lovely weekend at the Xixi Wetlands.


By MORE magazine

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