Where (and When) to Watch the Dragon Boat Races in Hong Kong

Chinese Festivals

Dragon Boat Races and Festivals will be held all over Hong Kong as the territory celebrates the Dragon Boat Festival on Monday 18 May 2018. A quick reference schedule follows.

image-hong-kong-dragon-boat-carnival
International Dragon Boat Carnival is held in Hong Kong on the weekend following the Dragon Boat Festival. Photo Credit: Hong Kong Tourism Board.

The Dragon Boat Festival will fall on Monday 18 May in 2018, and races and festivals will be held at beaches, along rivers, and on bays throughout Hong Kong.

The Dragon  Boat Carnival will be held later in the week on Victoria Harbour in Central on Hong Kong Island.

The Dragon Boat Festival, also known as the Tuen Ng Festival in Hong Kong, commemorates the death of a popular Chinese poet, Qu Yuan, who drowned himself in the Mi Lo River more than 2,000 years ago to protest against the corrupt rulers.

According to legend, townspeople beat drums to scare fish away and threw dumplings into the sea to keep the fish from eating his body. From this somewhat macabre story comes the joyous spectacle of dragon boat racing.

Not to mention the consumption of those yummy sticky rice dumplings that are a hallmark of the festival!

Schedule of 18 June 2018 Activities in Hong Kong

image-of-hong-kong-dragon-boat-carnival
Dragon Boat Carnival. Photo Credit: Hong Kong Tourism Board

1. Stanley International Dragon Boat Championships

  • From 8.00 am to (approximately) 5.00 pm at Stanley Main Beach on Hong Kong Island.

2. Tai O Dragon Boat Festival

  • From 9.00 am to (approximately) 2.00 pm on the Tai O Promenade on Lantau Island.

3. Aberdeen Dragon Boat Races

  • From 9.00 am to (approximately) 4.00 pm at the Aberdeen Promenade on Hong Kong Island.

4. Cheung Chau Dragon Boat Festival

  • From 10.00 am to (approximately 4.30 pm at the Cheung Chau Typhoon Shelter on Cheung Chau.

5. Saikung Dragon Boat Festival

  • From 8.00 am to (approximately) 5.00 pm on the Saikung Town Waterfront in the New Territories.

6. Sha Tin Dragon Boat Race

  • From 8.10 am to (approximately) 1.00 pm on the Shing Mun River in Sha Tin in the New Territories.

7. Tuen Mun District Dragon Boat Races

  • From 9.00 am to (approximately) 1.30 pm in Castle Peak Bay in Tuen Mun in the New Territories.

8. Tai Po District Dragon Boat Race

  • From 8.30 am to (approximately) 1 pm at Promenade at Tai Po Waterfront Park, Tai Po.

More dragon boat races will be held on other dates and  later in the summer.

Dragon Boat Carnival

The International Dragon Boat Carnival will be held from Friday 22 June to Sunday 24 June 2018.

CCB (Asia) Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Races is recognized as an “M” Mark Event by the Major Sports Events Committee.

Winning teams from local and international races will compete against Hong Kong’s best to be named victors of the international grand championships.

Schedule

  • Friday 22 June – from 12.30 to 6 pm
  • Saturday 23 June – from 8.30 am to 5 pm
  • Sunday 24 June – from 8.30 to 4.30 pm.

The Dragon Boat Festival is held on the fifth day of the fifth month on the Lunar Calendar. For this reason, it is known as the Double Fifth Festival in Chinese.

The date of the Dragon Boat Festival varies from year to year on the Gregorian Calendar, falling as early as late May or some time in the month of June.

  • 2018 – Monday 18 June
  • 2019 – Friday 7 June
  • 2020 – Thursday 25 June
  • 2021 – Monday 14 June
  • 2022 – Friday 3 June
  • 2023 – Thursday 22 June
  • 2024 – Monday 10 June
  • 2025 – Saturday 31 May 

The Dragon Boat Festival is one of the five most important festivals of the year in Chinese culture.

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